About me

A first-person, partial history. Because third-person,
complete histories are a bit much.


Me and the fam.

Me and the fam.

I'm a husband, father, author, and designer from Scappoose, Oregon. I'm also a not-half-bad first baseman, an admittedly average drummer, and a three-time college dropout. I've worked as a creative director, an art director, a copywriter, a book cover designer. I'm also not originally from Oregon: I was born in Texas, and raised there and in Alaska. I've lived in Nevada, Washington, and California, and moved to Oregon in 2012. I write in Hill House, our home on a forested hillside, with a view of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams—when it isn't foggy.

After high school, I wrote my first novel. It is, as these things are, unreadable. (Fun fact: nearly every chapter opened with a Counting Crows lyric. My advice to new writers: don't do that.) Writing a bad first novel is a necessity, however. (I wrote three of them, just to cover my bases.) In 2001, I started writing Eleanor, beginning a nearly fifteen-year journey. During such a long writing process, there are of course many dead ends and detours. For a time, Eleanor ceased to be a novel, and was instead a homegrown graphic novel. (The industrious among you may find bits of this still preserved online.) In 2014, after years of false starts and distractions, I finished writing Eleanor, and self-published the novel. Not long after, it was acquired by Crown Publishing, who re-released it in January, 2016. The novel was also published in the U.K. by Harper Voyager, and will be translated into Portuguese (Rocco), Turkish (Arunas), and German (Heyne).

The fam and me. 

The fam and me. 

Between 2013 and 2014, I self-published several novels and short stories, including Greatfall, a fanfiction novel set in the world of Hugh Howey's Wool. A selection of the short fiction was collected in my book Deep Breath Hold Tight, and several appeared in anthologies and magazines, including Hugo award-winning editor John Joseph Adams's Lightspeed Magazine and his books Loosed Upon the World and Help Fund My Robot Army!!!

For nearly twenty years I've earned my living as a designer of various flavors. I currently work for a startup in Portland, OR, and in past lives worked as a creative director in the advertising field, wading hip-deep in a steady river of projects for clients like Netflix, Apple, Samsung, BlackBerry, and others. When I began self-publishing in 2013, it seemed only natural that I'd enjoy designing my own books. Not long after, I began designing book covers for other independent authors, and then for various publishers. (The demand for this work soon outpaced my ability to keep up, and I eventually retired from such things, but I've collected some of my favorite cover designs in a small portfolio.) 

Hill House's many seasons, which often all occur in the same day.

Hill House's many seasons, which often all occur in the same day.

When I'm not writing, you can usually find me in one of my various religious institutions: a bookshop, a ballpark, or a movie theater. I also enjoy making lists sometimes, so here are some of my favorite things (with the caveat that I'm fickle and if you ask me in five minutes, these might all be wildly, fantastically different): 

Books

Contact
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Edible Woman
The Stand

The Martian Chronicles
Never Let Me Go
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

Movies

Contact
Field of Dreams
The Mosquito Coast
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Road to Perdition
The Master
Jaws

Television

Mad Men
Rubicon
The Americans
Battlestar Galactica
The Wire
The West Wing
Six Feet Under

 

Music-makers

Kathleen Edwards
Patty Griffin
Bon Iver
Goldmund
Death Cab for Cutie
Josh Ritter
Bruce Springsteen