Edward Grant Ries was born in Southern California in 1939 – an early war baby whose father worked at the shipyards near Long Beach and whose mother was a riveter building bombers at Douglas Aircraft.
After the war, his family lived a nomadic existence. He attended 21 elementary schools and five high schools before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. The military badly needed science and engineering officers, which led to a scholarship at the University of Utah, commissioning as a Second Lieutenant, and marriage to Elaine. After tours in Japan, Southeast Asia, Yuma, San Diego, and Santa Ana, California, he resigned to attend graduate school at UCLA. After seven years, he was awarded a PhD and discovered that starting salaries in academia would not support a family with five children, but his engineering skills made him attractive to the emerging software industry. He fulfilled a career as a manager and director of software engineering, as well as periodically teaching engineering at Los Angeles State and the University of California at San Diego.
Except for what he terms his ‘vastly boring’ doctoral dissertation and papers on engineering subjects, his writing experience was limited to about a dozen articles on historical subjects. Consulting work provided numerous opportunities for foreign travel. Working with Elaine on their joint family history awakened an interest in their Scottish, English, and German roots. Imagine their surprise when they discovered that they are distant cousins – both descended from Matthew and Elizabeth Wallace – a Scottish couple from Stirlingshire, Scotland who immigrated to the American colonies. Their thousands of descendants have spread across the United States. Further digging revealed a vast array of family ties from the Scottish Highlands, Lowlands, and Borders. Family research required delving into history, geography, cultural traditions, and a host of other topics that proved valuable in crafting a historical novel.
Walking the barren battlefield at Culloden and visiting historical sites in the Highlands, Lowlands, and Borders reinforced his determination to write the story of a family caught up in last rising of the Jacobites and the bitter persecution that followed – persecution that failed in its purpose to destroy the vestiges of the Celtic culture of Scotland – which is once again flourishing on both sides of the Atlantic. The result is Legacy of Honor and its sequels.