About J.A. Mills

Before ISIS beheaded him, American journalist Steven Sotloff wrote in a letter, “Everyone has two lives. The second one begins when you realize you have only one.” That, in a nutshell, is how I came to write Blood of the Tiger.

At one point a few years ago, I lost much of what I held dear, including both my parents in the span of a month. Only then, as I struggled with life’s singularity and brevity, did I muster courage to tell what I know about the conspiracy to reduce the world’s most majestic wild creature to no more than a farm animal.

I grew up in a strip-mall suburb south of Seattle. There was nothing in my background to suggest I would end up with a front-row seat to the geopolitical wrangling that will soon determine whether or not wild tigers continue to roam Asia’s forests. Happenstance guided me to a career in journalism, where I was placed in the path of this story I could not let go. And that changed the course of my life.

This story spurred me to retool myself to work for some of the world’s top conservation organizations, including TRAFFIC, World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International. It led me across Asia and into Europe and Africa, and put me in the midst of world leaders and movie stars. More importantly, it led me to see that we are in danger of losing wild tigers—and rhino and elephants and bears—to the greed of a handful of entrepreneurs and the geopolitics of a changing world order.