Biography

 

Texas Book Festival

Texas Book Festival

David Marion Wilkinson is a fifth-generation Arkansan born to a Presbyterian minister. He has lived in Texas since 1972. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in English.

Wilkinson attended high school in Houston, lived and worked for three years in Scotland and Saudi Arabia, called Austin home for over two decades, and spent three years living in predominantly Hispanic and rural Alpine, Texas and the Big Bend. His diverse life experiences in such extreme demographics and cultures have provided a unique and objective perspective and rare insight.

Wilkinson most recently created Sul Ross State University’s first ever Writer-in-Residence program. In addition to his duties, Wilkinson worked as a writing instructor, lecturer, and community outreach spokesperson. His media and personal appearances raised the university’s profile across the entire state of Texas and even New Mexico. The author lectured in the English, History, and Journalism departments and taught an accredited, semester length graduate course.

At age twenty-five, Wilkinson began writing fiction, later publishing four books. Wilkinson’s books have been published by Penguin USA and the University of Texas Press.

Presenting Not Between Brothers to Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Presenting Not Between Brothers to Texas Governor Rick Perry.

His works have met with commercial and critical distinction. Three out of his four published titles are or have been in development with major film concerns. One Ranger (memoir written with H. Joaquin Jackson) remains the fastest selling book in the history of the University of Texas Press with 50,000 hardcover copies in print. One Ranger was optioned to Mark Cuban’s 2929 Pictures. The Empty Quarter was featured on Arab Gateway, a sort of Chamber of Commerce website promoting the cultures of the Middle East. The novel was also recommended reading for the “Gulf 2000 Project,” School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. In both cases, Wilkinson’s title was the only novel on the list.

The screenplay based upon his novel, Not Between Brothers, was optioned to NBC/Kevin Costner’s Tig Productions for a television mini-series. The project remained in development for three years. Wilkinson worked with an Emmy-winning screenwriter to adapt the story. The novel won the Violet Crown Award (Barnes & Noble/Writers League of Texas), was a “Best Novel of the West” Spur Award finalist, and selected “Editor’s Choice” by the prestigious Review of Texas Books. The 15th Anniversary Edition of Not Between Brothers will be released in the spring of 2010.

Wilkinson has been a featured author or presenter at the Texas Book Festival since its 1996 inception through 2005. He has been featured at the Southeastern Booksellers Association tradeshow in Fort Lauderdale and Mid-South Booksellers in New Orleans.

At the drillers console in the North Sea.

At the driller’s console in the North Sea.

Wilkinson has orchestrated all promotional campaigns for each of his books, including the 2004-2005 national media blitz for One Ranger and an extensive 2002 campaign in the southeast United States for Oblivion’s Altar. A veteran speaker and personality, Wilkinson has either appeared or had his work featured on numerous national and regional television programs, talk shows, news casts, and radio programs, including National Public Radio (Nashville, Austin, and Tulsa) and Don Imus.

He has reviewed books for The Austin Chronicle and written articles and public relations pieces for regional and national print media. He has also written for industry and trade publications. He has evaluated trade titles for the University of Oklahoma Press and Texas Tech Press.

A natural at public relations, he created the slogan for the Western Writers of America, “Literature of the West for the World,” and orchestrated the publicity for their 2000 Convention, penning articles and press releases for regional and national media and recruiting industry/media professionals to raise the organization’s profile.

On the Development Committee of the Writers League of Texas (1700 members) he was awarded “Volunteer of the Year” in 2000. Wilkinson also served as three-term president of the Ozark Creative Writers.

Davids experiences in Saudi Arabia later culminated in the novel The Empty Quarter

David’s experiences in Saudi Arabia later culminated in the novel The Empty Quarter.

His works have been reviewed or mentioned in every major Texas newspaper, plus the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Arkansas Gazette, and Tulsa World, among others. He has been featured in several national and regional magazines including Texas Monthly, Southern Living and True West.

Wilkinson adapted his novel The Empty Quarter for the screen with Todd Allen and Bonnie Orr. The project is currently optioned to Presidio Pictures where it remains in development. He is also creating an original screenplay with Kelli Herd, a Dallas-based director/producer and faculty member of SMU film school.

Wilkinson invested five years working as a drilling contractor in the oil/gas fields of Saudi Arabia, the North Sea, Texas and Louisiana. He has also been a part-time ranch hand in the Big Bend, an occasional hunting guide in the Hill Country.

Featured Articles

 

Learn more about David Marion Wilkinson:

“Never give up, especially in Texas”
Victoria Advocate
December 2, 2015

“Dove reunion provides shared experience with old friends”
Corpus Christi Caller-Times
September 28, 2014