Published Writers browse by location | browse by topic | add listing  |  edit listing  |  faqs

Joe Townley

Los Angeles, California, United States

About Joe Townley,Bestselling Novelist & Classical Pianist

Joe Townley was already on his way to distinguishing himself as a pianist of stature, having won first prize in numerous Southland piano competitions as a teenager, before a devastating finger injury suffered during a practice session eventually destroyed his dreams of a career as a concert artist. With a career as a professional pianist sidelined indefinitely, Joe turned his creative instincts to writing. Yet it would be many years before he ventured to write a full-length novel. The result, an adaptation of one of his numerous screenplays,
“The Apocalypse Project” was published in 2000.

In March 2002 his next novel, “On Ghost Trails” was released. In it he introduces Trevor Langley to the literary world. Trevor is a private detective working out of Norfolk, Virginia who gets more than he bargained for when he agrees to help a beautiful young lady solve the riddle of some mysterious occurrences going on in her hometown near to Norfolk. Writer, Stephen M. Yarnell found On Ghost Trails to be an intriguing blend of mystery and the supernatural, calling it “a rollicking good ghost yarn” and “a new breed of mystery by a new breed of writer.” In it you’ll find drama, humor, and thrills and chills aplenty, including a slam-bang, hair-raising climax
guaranteed to keep you turning pages into the early morning hours…all the elements that make reading mysteries a truly memorable experience.

But Joe didn’t let the injury to his hand permanently derail his gifts as a pianist. Though he continued to perform sporadically in the years that followed, earning a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in music along the way, his injury continued to worsen until, by 1980, the muscle spasms in his finger were so frequent and severe that,
pianistically, they rendered his hand all but useless. It was then that Joe made the painful decision to abandon the piano entirely. A twenty-year sabbatical from the keyboard followed.

In 2000, with the publication of his first novel, Joe made an auspicious decision to venture back to the keyboard and
“test the waters”. His first efforts were discouraging. But, with time and dogged determination, Joe became convinced that, slowly but surely, he could rebuild much of his technique without triggering a reoccurrence of the injury. From there, it was only a matter of traversing the long and difficult road back to virtuosity with a regulated regime of carefully designed finger exercises.

The results appear to be paying off.

Joe is back to playing with some of the technical facility that earned him accolades as a rising star of the music world and his technique and musicianship continue to grow with each passing day, so much so that in fall of 2002 he will be releasing his debut CD featuring the piano music of Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, and Chopin.

You, the visitor, can judge for yourself whether the results have been worth the effort. To hear Joe’s piano artistry and to read excerpts from his best-selling mystery, "On Ghost Trails" go to his website at It is here that Joe gives us a poignant peek into what is…

And what might have been

Interests: classical piano, writing

Published writer: Yes

Freelance: Yes


Published works:


  • On Ghost Trails
  • On Ghost Trails