David Poyer

David Poyer – Ghostwriter

Nearly 50 books in print. Retired university teacher. Latest: THE ACADEMY, St. Martin's; WRITING IN THE AGE OF AI, Northampton House Press.


Writer and editor of novels, creative nonfiction, and memoirs. Nearly fifty books include The Dead of Winter, Winter in the Heart, As the Wolf Loves Winter, and Thunder on the Mountain, novels set in Pennsylvania; The Med, The Gulf, The Circle, The Passage, Tomahawk, China Sea, Black Storm, The Command, The Threat, Korea Strait, The Weapon, The Crisis, The Towers, The Cruiser, Onslaught, Hunter Killer, Deep War, Overthrow, Violent Peace, Arctic Sea, and The Academy, USA Today best-selling novels; White Continent, Star Seed, The Shiloh Project, and Stepfather Bank, science fiction; Fire on the Waters, A Country of Our Own, That Anvil of Our Souls, and The Only Thing to Fear, historicals; the Hemlock County novels, set in Northern Appalachia; The Civil War at Sea trilogy; and Ghosting and The Whiteness of the Whale, sea tales.

Oral history, travel works, and other nonfiction include On Politics and War, a memoir, co-authored with MGEN Arnold Punaro USMC, F-35: The Inside Story of the Lightning II, a nonfiction work coauthored with several other writers, and Heroes of Annapolis, a collection of biographical sketches. Other work has been translated into Japanese, Dutch, Italian, Hungarian, and Serbo-Croatian, and rights have been sold for films, audiobooks, plays, etc.

Teacher or lecturer at University of Pittsburgh, Old Dominion University, Joint Forces Staff College, The New College, and Elizabethtown College, and appeared on PBS's "Writer to Writer." A founding editor of The New Virginia Review, a board member of the Library of Virginia, and a Distinguished Visiting Writer at the US Naval Academy. Teacher at the MA/MFA postgraduate level for many years. Play "Shadowland" produced by the Zurich English-Speaking Theatre in 2022. Currently a fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, publisher at Northampton House Press, chair of the Eastern Shore Public Library system Board of Trustees, board member of the Northern Appalachia Review, and contributing editor at Shipmate magazine.

As a mentor, Poyer brings this deep skill set to helping new writers execute their projects and find reputable agents and publishers. Writers he's mentored have been taken on by major literary agencies, published by major houses, appeared on New York Times Top Ten bestseller lists, been nominated for the Lambda Prize, won the International Latino Book award and other prizes, and become college teachers of English and Creative Writing. He's available for manuscript and marketing consultation and advanced developmental editing help.

Action & Adventure Dystopian Literary Fiction Thriller & Suspense
Biographies & Memoirs History Political Science & Current Affairs
English (US)
  • distinguished visiting writer, US Naval Academy
  • distinguished award for lifetime contributions to naval fiction, Surface Navy Association
  • Defense Superior Service Medal
  • MA, George Washington University
  • BS, US Naval Academy

Work experience

Wilkes University

Jan, 2007 — Jun, 2021 (over 14 years)

Worked closely with motivated postgraduate students of creative writing to help them develop their ideas into books, learn to write and market, and become published writers.

Simon & Schuster, St. Martins/Macmillan, Avon, Tor, Forge, HBJ, Naval Institute Press

Jun, 1976 — Present


US Navy

Jun, 1971 — Jun, 2001 (about 30 years)

Surface navy officer, serving in Atlantic, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Pacific, Arctic, Middle East, and Pentagon.


Book Proposal
Book Ghostwriting
Short-Form Content
World War with China explodes in Hunter Killer, David Poyer's dramatic new thriller. The United States stands nearly alone in its determination to fight, rather than give into the expansionist demands of the aggressive new “People’s Empire.” The naval and air ... read more
Onslaught chronicles Captain Dan Lenson’s latest challenge as the U.S. Navy struggles to hold Taiwan, Korea, and Japan against a massive Chinese offensive. The prize: domination of Asia and the Western Pacific.As the United States’ computer, satellite, and fin... read more
"A flight of the historical imagination that will leave readers dazzled." - Thomas Fleming "Solid research buttresses Poyer's latest, a consistently engrossing WWII novel featuring FDR and skinny naval officer John Fitzgerald Kennedy." - Publisher’s Weekly "An... read more
A deadly new weapon hits the international arms market---and the only way to preserve the balance of power in the Mideast is to hijack the Iranian sub that carries it.United States Navy Commander and Medal of Honor winner Dan Lenson has been handed another out... read more

D. C. Poyer

"First-rate satire with a serious core" – Library Journal "A highly original cautionary tale . . . on more levels than the reader might first suspect." – Stan Schmidt, editor, Analog"A jaunty, corkscrew ride through a skewed future" – Alan Dean Foster"Burlew, ... read more
The year is 1861, and America shudders on the brink of disunion. Elisha Eaker, scion of a wealthy Manhattan banking family, joins the Navy against his father's wishes. He does it as much to avoid an arranged marriage to his cousin, Araminta Van Velsor, as to d... read more
"A major contribution to the preservation of the lore and heritage of the Outer Banks." -- David Stick"The voices ring with authenticity." -- Paul Clancy, Norfolk Virginian-PilotHow much would you give to talk quietly for just one hour with your great-grandmot... read more
An antiwhaling expedition to the freezing Antarctic takes a violent turn in this powerful novel from bestselling author and sailor David Poyer.After a tragic accident maims her laboratory assistant, Dr. Sara Pollard's career as a primate behaviorist lies in ru... read more
“A stunning period tale in which the oft-forgotten essence of the American dream is visible in every chapter." - Publisher’s Weekly, starred review“Dramatic and suspenseful, full of despair and hope.” – Booklist, starred review"The prizefight and deer hunt seq... read more
“A powerfully written Florida adventure . . . a compelling glimpse at the mysterious world of cave diving.” – The Orlando Sentinel“One of his best novels yet . . . bristles with suspense . . . What makes this novel particularly memorable are the extensive, har... read more
With blistering action sequences and incredibly detailed military insight, Black Storm takes the reader along with the most covert Special Ops group straight to Saddam Hussein's stronghold, through harrowing instances of close-quarters combat, and into the hea... read more
After being wounded and awarded the Bronze Star for valor as a Marine infantry platoon commander in Vietnam, Arnold Punaro thought he'd left the battlefield behind. Instead, he redeployed onto... read more
Book Ghostwriting
The war against China turns dire, as the United States struggles to survive in this gripping thriller featuring Navy commander Dan LensonAfter the United States suffers a devastating nuclear a... read more
Book Proposal

David has 4 reviews





Melanie C.

Melanie C.

Mar, 2023

Working with David has been an amazing experience. I was not sure what to do with my book idea, and never attempted to write a book before. He has been a terrific guide and teacher, walking me through each step of his unique writing process offering helpful ideas and meaningful critique along the way. His specific process is both doable and magical, and in two months I went from a book c...
Read more
Daniel S.

Daniel S.

Jun, 2024

David Poyer helped add character depth, better continuity, and additional period details to my manuscript. I’m much prouder of the end result. I would recommend David for any phase of someone’s writing experience. He pushed me but supported me. This was an excellent experience.
Daniel S.

Daniel S.

Mar, 2024

David understood my genre and made my manuscript much better. Will use him for a final review. I now consider him a friend.
David P.
Thanks Daniel. You have what it takes; just keep pushing; never give up! Dave
Melanie C.

Melanie C.

Apr, 2023

Working with David has been great! I am attempting my first book (with no previous writing experience) and David has been an amazing teacher and guide coaching me through the process.

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