John Sandford's first novel was "Rules of Prey," published in 1989. His novel "The Fool's Run" was published within three months of "Rules of Prey" by a different publisher. Sandford wrote these two novels using different styles.
G.P. Putnam's Sons published "Rules of Prey." Sandford's real last name is Camp, but because his first two novels came out so close together, the publishers at G.P. Putnam's Sons asked him to come up with a pseudonym to avoid marketing problems. As a Civil War buff, he chose the surname Sandford because it belonged to his paternal great-grandfather Henry Sandford, who fought in the Civil War.