Jay Ruud is a retired professor of medieval literature at the University of Central Arkansas. He is focusing on novels these days: in addition to Fatal Feast, The Knight’s Riddle, and now The Bleak and Empty Sea, the first three books in this series of Merlin mysteries, he is also the author of more scholarly books like "Many a Song and Many a Leccherous Lay": Tradition and Individuality in Chaucer’s Lyric Poetry (1992), the Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature (2006), A Critical Companion to Dante (2008), and A Critical Companion to Tolkien (2011). He taught at UCA for fourteen years, prior to which he was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Northern State University in South Dakota. He has a Ph.D. in Medieval Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His awesome wife, Stacey Margaret Jones, is also a novelist and poet. He has two more or less adult children, four spectacular grandchildren, and several friendly dogs. He believes strongly that Chaucer is still relevant, that modern literature started in 1485, and that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.