Nugent was born on Long Island, New York, the eighth of eleven children. Educated at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, he has been a Californian since 1979. Married in 1980, he and his wife are the parents of two adult children.
His passion for the history of California and The West, thrived while he served on boards of the Sonoma County Historical Society and the Petaluma Historical Museum and Library.
He has written a history of his church in Petaluma, where he led a group to restore historic stained-glass windows that had been forgotten in a ranch henhouse. His anti-war drama, "The Finger," won the Dominican University Marin Fringe Festival "First Place Best Play" honor.
Tom Hanks portrayed his deceased college roommate--and muse--Pulitzer Prize winner, Mike McAlary, in Nora Ephron's Broadway smash, "Lucky Guy." The dramatic plot evoked the brief, mysterious nature of mortality, and its powerful message inspired Nugent to rejuvenate his writing talents to complete his debut novel.
He is currently working on a story about California gold seekers.