About the Author
Alan Livingston is the author of the critically-acclaimed breakthrough novel Gabriel’s Creek. The tale joins a man’s final round of golf, through which he is led on a spiritual introspection of his life. His guides are a cast of friends and an unusual dog, taking place on an even more unusual golf course.
Gabriel’s Creek was published in 2014 by Three Nineteeens Publishing. The novel is available in both hard and soft cover print versions at Lulu.com, Amazon, and in Barnes and Noble’s online store. Kindle readers can get the book in that format from Amazon.
Mr. Livingston is an active author on Goodreads. He welcomes any and all comments of readers by email or reply on this website, and eagerly encourages all reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.
Poetry, short stories, and travel pieces are additional talents in Mr. Livingston’s repertoire, samples of which appear on this site over time on its Short Stories and Posts page.
Included in the author’s works to be published is a personal family history describing their unique connection to the 1963 presidential assassination, titled Intersection with History. This memoir is currently awaiting publication in 2017.
Three novels in progress have working titles: Treasure Kills, the beginning of a series featuring a former Special Forces operative as he investigates an international mystery in the Nevada desert; Bogeys, set in France between two world wars, a friendship of aviators from three countries finding purpose together before being torn apart; Contrails, a young man discovering his family has been wrong about why his father died on a doomed commercial airline flight 20 years before .
Mr. Livingston is a native of Fort Worth, Texas, where he last lived before moving away to attend The University of Texas in Austin in 1974. He now lives with his wife in Las Vegas, Nevada, although there have been many stops in between: The U.S. states of Georgia, Texas, California, Ohio, Arizona, and Mississippi.
Many people know Mr. Livingston by his first name – Charles, or Charlie – but he originally published under his middle name, Alan. In 2017, he sought to simplify things, beginning to publish under his initials, “C.A.”. As his father often recited the well-worn adage, “Call me whatever you want, just call me for dinner”.
Most of Mr. Livingston’s adult life was spent in a career as an accountant. Over 30 years included work in the hospitality industry in a wide variety of hotels, resorts, golf courses, and casinos. His positions included everything from corporate executive to table games dealer, and many in between. He also overhauled and revamped the financial aspects of a large property owner’s association in Mississippi, and a church in Las Vegas.
Mr. Livingston believes his love for writing probably started in high school, although he had already published a periodical newsletter as early as grade school. At Western Hills High School in Fort Worth, Mrs. Jackson was a favorite teacher of his Journalism class, leading him to be the Sports Editor of the large school’s paper. Heading for college, Journalism was his first choice as a major. Not unusual for a freshman, he changed that at registration, remaining in the School of Communication as a Radio/TV/Film major. In his sophomore year, peers convinced him that the school of Business Administration provided a better career path. Finance became his final major through his completion in 1978.
Mr. Livingston had a variety of jobs while a full-time college student, including working for a university church and for a car rental company at Austin’s Robert Mueller Airport. The second of his middle-of-the-night hotel jobs began a 10-year career with Marriott Hotels and Resorts. Those years began as a Night Auditor in Austin, then wove through Atlanta, DFW Airport, and Anaheim before completing his time with Marriott as a Hotel Controller in La Jolla, California.
He was lured away from Marriott, spending the next few years as a Regional Controller for Stouffer Hotels and Resorts, traveling extensively from his base at their corporate office in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. In this capacity, he provided corporate oversight of several high-profile properties in the U.S. West and Southwest, auditing both the books and operations of local management. Professional writing was frequent, as lengthy trip reports would document everything in extreme detail.
It was during this time with Stouffer Hotels that Mr. Livingston met the woman he would ultimately marry, along with her three young children who would become his step kids. This union could only happen by walking away from his executive job, so that’s what he did. As a result, the new family moved to suburban Atlanta, Georgia, where the new spouse continued her own successful career. In a few years, Mr. Livingston accepted an offer to return to an executive management position in the hospitality industry, which led to a more permanent relocation of the family, to Biloxi, Mississippi.
During their 12 years on the Gulf Coast, the Livingstons remained in the hotel business, a house was bought on the water, and three teenagers progressed through school. One dog and then another were added to the family. Health issues led Mr. Livingston to make a career-path change, becoming a table games dealer in a Biloxi casino. Kids graduated high school and went on to college. Then came 2005, and Hurricane Katrina.
Evacuating hours before landfall, the Livingstons and their dogs survived the storm, but only a few belongings made it after being shoved into a car as they pulled away in the approaching wind and rains. Huddled together in a motel over 400 miles away, they watched news reports of Katrina’s landfall and its devastation of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, unable to confirm until two days later that their home and everything within miles of it was gone.
Among the destruction that was the aftermath of Katrina, the Livingstons lived in a tent on their property in what was described as a scene from “Survivor”. Their survival mode continued for three months before they decided it was time to move along. They left the site and headed for a still undetermined destination as they pulled away. They eventually ended up in Las Vegas, where both continued their work in the hospitality industry on the Las Vegas Strip. The couple had been married in Las Vegas many years before, but certainly never expected to live there until destiny dictated so.
On breaks at work, the long and arduous writing of Gabriel’s Creek began with an idea Mr. Livingston had in a dream one night. In that dream, a man had learned he was dying. He wandered about in a golf shop thinking about what that meant, and looked out a window only to impossibly see outside the municipal golf course on which Mr. Livingston grew up. The story developed from there. Rewrites and editing continued, and continued, and continued.
In 2010, all this was interrupted by an illness that led to an emergency room, where common appendicitis was found. Mr. Livingston went into a routine surgery, but much more than a ruptured appendix was found. Appendix cancer was present, caused by a malignant abdominal condition requiring a largely-experimental major surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. A long recovery ensued, but despite the addition of another cancer and other issues provoking doctors’ warnings, Mr. Livingston counts himself as a survivor and intends to stay that way. Today he remains under supervision for the diseases, and indications remain very positive as the time lengthens since his original cancer’s detection.
The completion of writing Gabriel’s Creek being closely followed by the author’s diagnosis and the resulting thoughts provoked is an irony that cannot be overlooked.
Mr. Livingston’s lifelong passion for golf began as a pre-teen. Fortunately, he says, skill is not a qualifying factor in determining one’s true love for a game. Mr. Livingston knows no living witnesses to what he remembers as flashes of brilliance back in the 1980’s, when his official USGA handicap got as low as 8. High school golf team member or not, those years at his professional career peak were as good as his golfing skill ever got. But from the time he and his childhood best friend were encouraged to pursue the fun of this ancient pastime by Mr. Livingston’s uncle, whether he played frequently, or well, or not at all, his love for golf never subsided. Readers can depend upon future novels to include at least a bit of the game. Mr. Livingston recalls his father, unable to be a player of virtually any athletic pursuit due to polio, often told his son, “Better stick with that golf”.
Although today that love is satisfied more as a spectator than a participant, he always looks forward to a return to playing. Readers of Gabriel’s Creek will understand that feeling. Since their move to Las Vegas, both his dogs passed after reaching ages approaching 15 years. Their impact can certainly be seen in Gabriel’s Creek as well. Other life interests of Mr. Livingston include aviation (a private pilot at 17) and space exploration, reading, cooking, movies and music.
Of the Livingston’s three adult children, two sons live in Michigan, while a daughter and her husband lived in suburban Las Vegas before moving to Alabama in 2017. In October of 2014, she gave birth to their first grandchild, a boy named Finn. In August of 2016, Finn was joined by a baby brother, Nash, the Livingston’s second grandson. The couple seized the opportunity of having their grandchilren living minutes away, becomming obsessive grandparents. Despite the boys and their family moving such a distance away, the Livingstons’ pride and involvement with their daughter’s family will certainly continue. Their sons continue working hard in Michigan, looking forward to expanding their families in the future.