Duncan W. Alderson was born in Oil Town, USA, where he began his career writing clever advertising copy to amuse a coterie of Houston socialites. He then escaped Texas to become an expat in England. He researched his Master's Thesis in the Reading Room of the British Museum, fancying that he sat in the same chair as E. M. Forster. After teaching for twelve years at the Toronto Waldorf School, Duncan founded the Rabbit Hill Writers' Studio in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Inspired by photos of his mother as a flapper in El Paso, Texas, he spent ten years researching and developing his epic historical novel, Magnolia City.