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Early life

Gessner was born in Houlton, Maine on December 14, 1960 of Acadian and Qubecois descent and can tie his genealogy to Abraham Pineo Gesner, who invented kerosene in 1846. The eldest of three sons, Gessner grew up in Aroostook County, Maine and participated annually in digging potatoes for the harvest season, as well as delivering newspapers for extra money. Gessner attended St Mary's Catholic School and graduated from Houlton High School in 1979.

Writing career 

Having always dreamed of becoming a writer, he first became a barber to earn a living until he could support himself by his pen. His own barber convinced him to instead become a beautician in order to make more money, and also to interact with more women as a means of inspiration for his writing. After graduating from Houlton High School, Gessner attended Bernards School of Hair, which served as the basis for his first novel, Truth & Beauty School[1] in 1980.

Following graduation Gessner worked unsuccessfully at various jobs before realizing that he needed to return to school for writing. While earning a BA degree from the University of Maine at Machias, he wrote his second novel, Tapir Man in 1984, and married his college sweetheart in 1985. 

In 1986 Gessner was employed in publishing at Thorndike Press, the largest publisher in Maine and the second largest publisher of Large Print books at that time. Thorndike was purchased by its rival, GK Hall, then part of Macmillan Publishing. Following years of therapy for ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics), Gessner’s marriage unraveled, and the couple divorced amicably in 1992. 

In pursuit of a long distance emotional infatuation with a coworker, Gessner relocated to New Jersey in January of 1994, securing a position with Paramount Publishing, soon to be renamed Simon & Schuster- the largest publisher in the United States at that time. Gessner worked in the Corporate Purchasing department, managing the integration of his old company, Macmillan Publishing, which had just been purchased by Paramount. 

In the years to come, Gessner rose to Director of Procurement Strategy & Analysis in the Global Procurement department at Pearson which by this time had purchased all but the trade divisions of Simon & Schuster. During this time, between 1995- 1999, Gessner wrote five novels including: The Wake of Dreams[2], a novel set in the 1980’s about a psychic who is accidentally emotionally saved by a serial killer; A Different Story[3], a fictitious autobiography of Jesus called the Christ; Deep In My Heart[4], a murder mystery set during Freedom Summer in Mississippi; Princess Marin[5], the retelling of Hamlet with the main character as a woman; and Queen Marin[6], a novel about King Lear as a woman. 

Gessner suffered a brief and tumultuous second marriage in 1999, which was finally annulled in 2001 after long legal process, followed by a broken engagement in 2002. After a bittersweet romance with a lovely Transylvanian woman, who likely would have been perfect for him, Gessner realized he was much more comfortable being by himself. 

Becoming largely a recluse, Gessner was diagnosed with Asperger’s and experienced writer's block in the midst of trying to complete three separate works. In 2006 he took to writing again and is currently working on a complex novel about the first voyage of Captain Cook which he has been researching for over a decade.
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