Born in Georgia, Stuart Woods joined the Air National Guard after college and moved to New York City in search of a writing job. He wound up at an ad agency until he was sent to Mannheim, Germany with the Air National Guard.
He spent the 1970s in London working in advertising again. When he inherited from his grandfather, he bought a boat and entered the Observer Singlehanded Transatlantic race, spending six weeks alone at sea. His non-fiction book, Blue Water, Green Skipper (first published in 1977, republished in 2012) chronicles the experience of that race. Charlton Heston starred in the CBS television dramatization of that book.
Woods is still a licensed pilot, owns a power boat and has partial ownership in a yacht.
He published fifteen novels before appearing on the New York Times bestseller list. His publishers have now requested three books a year from him.
According to his website, his famous character Stone Barrington is entirely fictional and not based on a real N.Y.P.D. homicide detective.
The latest in the Stone Barrington series, Unintended Consequences, is coming out in April 2013.