About the Author

Black and white headshot of Mark Schweizer

In 1974, Mark Schweizer, a brand-new high-school graduate decided to eschew the family architectural business and become an opera singer. Against all prevailing wisdom and despite jokes from his peers such as "What does the music major say after his first job interview?" (answer: You want fries with that?), he enrolled in the Music School at Stetson University. To his father, the rationale was obvious. No math requirement.

Everything happened for a reason, however, and he lived and worked as a musician, composer, author and publisher in Tryon, North Carolina with his lovely wife, Donis. He actually had a bunch of degrees, including a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Arizona. I know! What were they thinking?

In the field of bad writing, Mark had the distinction of receiving a Dishonorable Mention in the 2006 BULWER-LYTTON FICTION CONTEST, an annual contest in which the entrants compete for the dubious honor of having composed the worst opening sentence to an imaginary novel. In 2007, his sentence now found on page 17 of The Mezzo Wore Mink was runner-up in the Detective Category. This, and two other of his entries, were featured in It Was A Dark and Stormy Night: A Collection of the Worst Fiction Ever Written, edited by Scott Rice and published by The Friday Project.

In varying stages of his career, Mark has waited tables, written articles for Collegehumor.com, won opera competitions, sung oratorios, taught in college music departments, raised pot-bellied pigs and hedgehogs, directed church choirs, sung the bass solo to Beethoven's 9th with the Atlanta Symphony, hosted a classical music radio show, taught in a seminary, sung recitals, started a regional opera company, published choral music, built a log cabin, written opera librettos, directed stage productions, helped his wife to raise their two children and managed to remain married for forty-one years. He also owned several chainsaws.

From the first book of the Liturgical Mystery series, The Alto Wore Tweed, Mark always knew the last one would be called The Choir Director Wore Out. After fourteen mysteries, he decided that it was finally time to write the final chapter. He didn't know when it was published in September of 2018 that only eleven months later, he would be diagnosed with a very aggressive brain tumor. Sadly, in November of 2019, he passed away at his home in Tryon, surrounded by his loving family. He somehow managed to make them laugh every day throughout his short illness. Now, he is surely directing the angelic choirs (or singing in them) and swapping jokes with St. Peter. Mark's family motto was always "Go big or go home!' Welcome home, Mark.

In the fall of 2001, I began what I hoped would be a funny little book about an Episcopal choir director/ detective that had a flair for bad writing. Now, fourteen years later, that book, The Alto Wore Tweed, is still getting laughs and the rest of the books (bad writing aside) are winning awards and working hard to catch up. Thanks to you, the Hayden Konig adventures continue to make their way into the hands of mystery lovers and across church choirs, one reader and singer at a time.