L.A. Meyer was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and currently lives in Corea, Maine. Since 1984, he and his wife have owned an art gallery called Clair de Loon in Bar Harbor, where they sell matted and framed prints of his artwork.
He married his college sweetheart, Annetje Lawrence, in 1966. They have two sons, Matthew and Nathaniel. Like their father, both men are painters and teachers. Their mother was also a teacher before dedicating herself to the family's businesses and researching historical points for her husband's novels.
Meyer grew up on U.S. Army bases in Germany and the American east coast, attended high school in Pennsylvania and Florida, college in Florida, and then hitchhiked through Mexico and the American Southwest before joining the military.
During the Vietnam War Meyer joined the U.S. Navy. He has said he did it to avoid death in a foxhole. He became an officer after four months, assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet. He saw no combat during his tour of duty, which included ports of call in Italy, France, Spain, and Malta.
Meyer received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Florida in 1964. He took graduate art courses at Columbia University in 1970, and received an MFA in Painting in 1973 at Boston University's Master of Fine Arts program.
Jacky Faber Books
Meyer had already written two children's picture books for a major publisher—Little, Brown and Company—before graduating from Boston University. Nearly thirty years later, he got the idea for the Jacky Faber character while listening to British and Celtic folk music on a local community radio station in his workshop. Meyer describes the moment on his website:
...the host of the program plays a long string of early nineteenth century songs that feature young girls dressing up as boys and following their boyfriends out to sea, the most well known of these being Jackaroe and Cana-di-i-o. These songs generally end up with the girl being found out quickly and threatened with being thrown overboard, but all ends happily when she either marries the boy or the captain.
It occurred to me, however, to wonder what it would be like if the girl, instead of seeking to be with her lover, connives to get on board a British warship in order to just eat regularly and have a place to stay, her being a starving orphan on the streets of early 1800s London. What would she have to do to pull off this deception for a long period of time? What if she goes through the changes of adolescence while on board in the company of 408 rather rough men and boys, and her not having much of a clue as to what is happening to her? What if this ship goes into combat and she has to do her dangerous duty? And, finally, what if she falls in love with one of the boys and can never tell him of her female nature?
I started making notes and seven months later Bloody Jack was done.
Meyer has stated in several fan interviews that the final book in the series will be titled She Will Play the Wild Rover No More and hinted that the book is already completed and "deep in a vault," though he further stated that he does not know how many more books will be in the series.
- two or more children's books published by Little, Brown prior to 1973
- The Gypsy Bears Illustrated Children's Book (1971)
Bloody Jack series
- Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary Jacky Faber, Ship's Boy (2002)
- The Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady (2004)
- Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber (2005)
- In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber (2006)
- Mississippi Jack: Being an Account of the Further Waterborne Adventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman, Fine Lady, and the Lily of the West (2007)
- My Bonny Light Horseman: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, in Love and War (2008)
- Rapture of the Deep: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Soldier, Sailor, Mermaid, Spy (2009)
- The Wake of the Lorelei Lee: Being an Account of the Adventures of Jacky Faber, on her Way to Botany Bay (2010)
- The Mark of the Golden Dragon: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Jewel of the East, Vexation of the West, and Pearl of the South China Sea (2011)
- Viva Jacquelina! Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber Over the Hills and Far Away (2012)
- Boston Jacky: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Taking Care of Business (2013)
- Meyer, L.A. L.A. Meyer Biography, brief autobiography on author's own webpage. Accessed February 25, 2009.
- Meyer, L.A. Biography at Meyer Studio Gallery. Accessed February 25, 2009.
- Clair de Loon official website. Accessed February 25, 2009.
- Jackaroe Lyrics. Accessed February 25, 2009.
- Canadee-I-O Lyrics. Accessed February 25, 2009.
- Photograph of L.A. Meyer circa 2002
- Female Warrior Folk Ballads, list of traditional songs and chanteys featuring women who went to sea as men