You would think someone who writes for a living would enjoy writing about himself.

You would be wrong.

Back in October, our Gracious Host offered me a weekly column at SAB after reading and reviewing my first novel, Dead Man’s Fugue. I told him I would think on it, and promptly forgot about it. As you can see, I was eager to jump on board!

Part of that reluctance has been my private view of what an author should be. We’re not that different from other entertainers, be they actors or sports stars. Generally, I find myself annoyed when someone whose work I like decides to spout off on their favorite talking points and inject politics when their work doesn’t require it. (Joss Whedon is a man I both love and loathe, and I sometimes wonder if he realizes the messages in his own work.)

In the months since Rob made the offer, though, several things changed my mind.

1.) The need to eat. No, this column is not a paid gig, but Rob offered me a platform to raise my public profile which in turn leads to sales of more books. Book sales = money = food.

2.) The birth of my son. No doubt the most disruptive thing that’s ever happened in my life (far more than marriage), this single amazing event made me want to speak out. If I can have the smallest part in shaping the world he is going to grow up in, it’s my responsibility to take it.

With all that said, who am I?

I’m a born and raised North Dakotan. I grew up on a small ranch outside Washburn. I started working with cattle and horses since I was old enough to ride, and did until I left for college.

I attended Dickinson State University and graduated in 2008 with degrees in Computer Science and English. Following that I worked in IT for five years (including three at MDU Resources in Bismarck), got married, and quit my regular job to write and raise our son.

My wife is a high school English teacher and my primary editor.

I hope to offer a young man’s perspective on life in North Dakota, a voice on politics, and occasionally a bit about writing.

Finally, why write?

Reading and writing runs in the family. I grew up with two parents who loved reading and passed it onto their sons. My brother, four years my senior, wrote two books (one unpublished as his senior project, the other as a collection of short stories) and spent seven years as a humor columnist for BHG.

I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I quit for a few years when my brother put out his first book (in part because of jealousy), but I’m back on track and burning up keyboards. With two novels out and a third on the way, this is a good change of pace from fiction, and an opportunity for me to share my thoughts on ND living with you.

Thanks again to our host for offering me this opportunity!