Rich Mussler was born in Sinton, Texas on the Gulf of Mexico near Corpus Christi. His family later relocated to the Willamette Valley near Albany, Oregon. As a young man, the self-described “Twisted Texan” wrote dozens of stories and short screenplays. Years later, as an adult, Mussler returned to Texas.
Then the unexpected occurred. On January 22, 2004 he was run over by a sixteen-year-old girl driving a car while having a fight on the cell phone with her boyfriend. He had gone for a walk after the evening news and she plowed over him in her Jeep Cherokee. She thought she hit a dog. That event changed his life.
When Mussler was care-flighted to Fort Worth he died on the way, was revived and nearly died again in surgery. Following two days in the Intensive Care Unit and eight days in the hospital, he spent the next seven months in recovery. While undergoing physical therapy Mussler sat before his computer and polished his favorite stories. During that challenging time in his life he realized his family and friends might never have known about his writings. He determined then to find a publisher. That’s how the Twisted Texan was born.
The first two Twisted Texan books, each a collection of loosely related short stories, are captivating work. The reader readily becomes involved with the characters and can easily relate to their life situations. The short stories center around the young Twisted Texan but tell tales of all those who influenced him growing up. Intermixed with these also several stories about the adult Twisted Texan, a US Department of Justice DEA agent. Texas, partially due to its location as a border state, is front and center in America’s war against drugs—so there is plenty of action in Mussler’s twisted tales. He is an artful storyteller, painting a fascinating canvas with his convoluted plots and intriguing story lines.
Mussler’s first novel Trial of Justice features the character known as the Twisted Texan, and takes place in 1985. The young man is now a DEA agent on his first major assignment. In the story the Texan, who tends to do things his own way, resolves the decade-old murder of his fiancé and a group of nuns. Along the way he faces criminals, revolutionaries and a fascist government police force. This is the first of a series of novels featuring the Twisted Texan that will span his career in the DEA.
Mussler relates, “Almost all of my writing has a ‘twist’ to it - something unexpected or odd, which is reflective of my personality. I suppose all of us are a bit twisted or odd in some ways. Primarily, my stories are character-driven. Plots and storylines result from the quirky personalities of the characters I write about. ”
Mussler is a business executive and travels extensively, and the places he visits often appear in his fiction. He also speaks routinely at book clubs, to high school and college students, and often participates in author book-signing events. He notes, “My inspirations pop into my head out of nowhere - usually whole and complete. It is all I can do to get them written down as swiftly as I can. But after, I recognize brothers, sisters, friends and even strangers in them — strangers with whom I’ve had only brief conversations.”
The author has been writing since he was a toddler. He created homemade comic books, drawing them, inking them and coloring them before he could spell. He asked his mother to write the words for him. She would transcribe whatever he told her to say. At the age of eight he created a school newspaper on the family typewriter. He was reporter and editor-in-chief of the publication, while also providing the distribution network. Later, he became a filmmaker of backyard productions in 8 and 16 millimeter. He continued making films through his thirties, writing and producing several films. He is also a painter (acrylics and water color) and obtained an undergraduate degree in Art from Oregon State University. He later earned a Master of Business Administration from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.
Following an idyllic childhood in rural Oregon he returned as an adult to his native state of Texas. He makes his home now in Flower Mound, a suburb of Dallas and Fort Worth, and is fond of saying, “I got here as fast as I could.” You can reach him by email: musslertx at msn.com.