Alex Novak has always loved words and was a spectacular nerd as a child. He has been an editor with the National Geographic Society, Time Warner, and the Explorers Club in New York City. He plays bluegrass guitar and mandolin, juggles machetes, rides a unicycle, and spits fire. He is equally comfortable discussing The Simpsons and the stylistic differences between the fourteenth and fifteenth editions of The Chicago Manual of Style.

He received an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University and a B.A. in English and a B.S. in anthropology and human biology from Emory University and has served as an adjunct professor of journalism at Penn State University. He is currently the executive director of the International Center for the Study of Terrorism.

He now lives in a Victorian home in central Pennsylvania with his wife and daughter, two hives of bees, a giant English mastiff named Chester, and a rotary phone (buy the book and see Luddite).