Gary Blackwood, born on October 23rd, 1945 in Meadville, Pennsylvania, is an American author of popular books for young readers including The Shakespeare Stealer, Shakespeare's Scribe, and Shakespeare's Spy. He grew up in rural Cochranton,Pennsylvania. He attended his earliest years of grade school in a one room schoolhouse. He graduated with a B.A. in English from Grove City College in Pennsylvania. While a college student, Blackwood published his first short story, Cliffs of Gold, in Twelve/ Fifteen magazine. Blackwood's first book was The Lion and the Unicorn, self-published in 1983. In 1987 he published "Wild Timothy" and this was followed by other Atheneum titles Beyond the Door and The Dying Sun. In 1998 his novel The Shakespeare Stealer was published, a tale of theatrical intrigue set against the backdrop of Elizabethan London in 1601. With careful attention to details of the time, the author re-creates a swashbuckling world where men duel with swords if their honor is questioned, where females disguise themselves as males if they want a life on stage, and an orphan boy sent to steal plays from Shakespeare's acting company unexpectedly finds a career and a family.
Blackwood has also authored numerous nonfiction titles for children and young adults, magazine articles, and plays. His play adaptation of The Shakespeare Stealer has been performed across the US, including a presentation at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
Blackwood is a popular speaker at schools and children's literature festivals across the US and Canada.