Rick Treon writes about life and death in the Lone Star State.
His novel Let the Guilty Pay was nominated for the 2021 Silver Falchion Award for Best Suspense Novel, and his thriller Divided States was named a Silver Falchion finalist the following year. Divided States was also nominated in the political thriller category of the 2021 Best Thriller Book Awards, and Treon’s debut novel, Deep Background, won the 2019 PenCraft Award for Literary Excellence in Suspense.
Before making up stories, he worked as a reporter and top editor for several newspapers in Texas, where he still lives and writes.
He served as the President of the Texas High Plains Writers in 2021 and was named its Writer of the Year. He is currently the THPW treasurer. Treon is also a member of the International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, and the Crime Writers’ Association.
His essays have been syndicated across Gannett Media and featured on literary websites The Thrill Begins and BestThrillers.com. He has also written for journalism nonprofit Big If True.
Rick’s award-winning journalism career began at the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a bachelor of journalism and served as sports editor of The Daily Texan.
As a sports correspondent for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Rick covered the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, professional rodeo and cutting horse, minor-league baseball, and college and high school athletics.
After moving back to the Texas Panhandle, where he attended high school, he began covering high school sports for the Amarillo Globe-News. He was a member of the staff that earned a Texas Associated Press Sports Editors award for the annual high school football preseason magazine.
He was later promoted to online editor, where he covered a variety of beats — including crime and public safety — and helped manage and design the paper’s website. In that role, he was the architect behind a web page that earned the prestigious 2013 Texas Associated Press Media Editors STAR Online Package Award.
After a stint away from journalism, during which he served as Chief Operations Officer for a multimillion-dollar industrial sales company, Rick returned to the Globe-News as its city editor in 2017. He was later promoted to managing editor.
He then took the same position at The Kerrville Daily Times in Central Texas, where he oversaw a staff that won Texas AMPE Newspaper of the Year in its size category in 2018. He left The Times and full-time journalism in 2018.
Deep Background was purchased by Black Rose Writing and published on December 6, 2018. It went on to become an Amazon international bestseller and won the 2019 PenCraft Award for Literary Excellence in Suspense.
He is a member of the 2018/2019 International Thriller Writers Debut Author Class, and before being honored at ThrillerFest XIV in New York, Let the Guilty Pay, was named a finalist in the Writers’ League of Texas 2019 Manuscript Contest (under the working title HELPERS).
Research for Let the Guilty Pay, which was purchased by Fawkes Press as part of a two-book deal in August 2019, included working as a welder’s helper with an oil pipeline welding crew in Oklahoma and Texas during the fall of 2018.
Let the Guilty Pay was released in paperback and e-book in July 2020 to begin the Bartholomew Beck thriller series. He also released a prequel novella, Live with the Truth, on April 1, 2020.
Rick returned to working on an oil pipeline in the Permian Basin in the winter of 2019 to finish researching The Price of Silence, the sequel to Let the Guilty Pay, which was released in August 2021.
Before Silence hit the shelves, Black Rose released Divided States in June 2021. A departure from his usual Texas Noir style, Divided States is a speculative action thriller that features military and intelligence officers in a post-secession America.