Mike Hurley is a husband, father, attorney and writer living in Raleigh, North Carolina. Born in Baltimore in 1958, he received his undergraduate degree in English Education in 1981 from the University of Maryland at College Park. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Law, he began a career in private practice in Houston in 1984. At age 34, he moved to North Carolina, where he took a year off to work as a professional sailboat-charter captain. Since entering private practice in North Carolina in 1993, he has earned success and notoriety as a defense lawyer in medical malpractice litigation. He is listed in North Carolina Super Lawyers.*
Mike began writing magazine articles about the outdoors at age 17. In 1995, he began writing and photographing a travelogue of wilderness canoe-expeditions with his children. This homespun journal grew into a commercially printed, quarterly gazette known as Hurley’s Journal (later Paddle & Portage) that was well-loved by more than 10,000 subscribers in 48 states. A collection of Mike’s essays from eight years of the journal became his first book, Letters from the Woods. The Wilmington Star-News described it as “one of those books you pick up like a comfy old shirt to relax in. . . Whimsical . . . Elegiac . . .” and wrote that “Hurley, like Hemingway, glories in the job cleanly done.” Writer’s Digest called it “inspiring on a variety of levels.” The Raleigh News & Observer found it “pointed, personal and poignant,” “a deep and passionate tale of wilderness adventures,” “a celebration of universal truths,” and “well worth reading.”
In 2006, Mike’s life was turned upside down by the end of his first marriage. Three years later, in seeking to understand these events and find a way forward, he took to the open ocean in a 32-foot sailboat, the Gypsy Moon, on a voyage that spanned two years. In his latest book, Letters from the Sea, Mike tells the unlikely, true story of how this remarkable voyage changed his life, and he offers hope to others who have had to pick up the pieces after personal failure and loss.