William Bernhardt is the bestselling author of more than forty books, including the blockbuster Ben Kincaid legal thrillers (Justice Returns, most recently), historical novels such as Challengers of the Dust, two books of poetry (The White Bird and The Ocean’s Edge), and the Red Sneaker books on writing. In addition, Bernhardt founded the Red Sneaker Writing Center to support writers of all kinds in all stages of their careers. The Center hosts the annual WriterCon in Oklahoma City and small-group seminars in various US locations, as well as a free monthly e-newsletter, a biweekly podcast, and a free phone app. He is one of the most sought-after writing instructors in the nation.
Bernhardt has received the Southern Writers Guild’s Gold Medal Award, the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award (University of Pennsylvania) and the H. Louise Cobb Distinguished Author Award (Oklahoma State), which is given "in recognition of an outstanding body of work that has profoundly influenced the way in which we understand ourselves and American society at large". In addition to his novels, he has written plays, a musical (book and music), humor, nonfiction, children books, biography, poetry, and puzzles. In his spare time, he has enjoyed surfing, digging for dinosaurs, trekking through the Himalayas, paragliding, scuba diving, caving, zip-lining over the canopy of the Costa Rican rain forest, jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet, and in 2013, becoming a Jeopardy champion. OSU named him “Oklahoma’s Renaissance Man,” noting that in addition to writing novels, he can “write a sonnet, play a sonata, plant a garden, try a lawsuit, teach a class, cook a gourmet meal, prepare homemade ice cream, beat you at Scrabble, and work the New York Times crossword in under five minutes”.
He lives in Oklahoma with his wife and their children.