I was born in Lakewood, Washington, on February 9, 1970.
The duality of my childhood shapes me even today. During my youth, I spent the school years living in suburban Fort Worth, Texas, with my mother and stepfather. In the summers, I would visit my father, an itinerant worker who moved around throughout the American West. I learned a lot about people in those years and grew comfortable in all sorts of situations.
My stepfather, a longtime sportswriter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, played a big part in my gravitation toward journalism. With my father, I saw from an early age the struggles of those who live hand to mouth.
Those two worlds — suburban and comfortable, rural and hardscrabble — inform my writing and my worldview.
My writing influences are many and varied. I read a lot of Hemingway in my teens and 20s, and that had a lot to do with the spare style I developed. I return again and again to Steinbeck. Works by Wallace Stegner and Ivan Doig helped sharpen my point of view as a writer in the West. I've recently discovered Russell Rowland, and his stuff is amazing.
These days, I live in Billings, Montana, with my wife, Angela, and our two incorrigible dachshunds, Bodie and Zula.