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Logan's mom encouraged him to read and draw and hoped he'd become an artist. But in 1950-51 she enrolled him as a 3rd grade cadet at Georgia Military Academy in College Park, Georgia. Memories from GMA include one 8-year-old classmate crying himself to sleep when his dad was killed in Korea. He also recalls teaching himself to draw copying Joe and Willie out of Bill Mauldin's classic book of WW II cartoons, Up Front.
Logan's mom decided to move from Michigan to Arizona in July, 1953. Driving during a rainstorm near Marion, Kentucky, the car swerved on slick pavement, went off the road and hit a guardrail next to a swamp. The backseat was stacked with heavy boxes of Encyclopedias and Logan's Junior Classics. The books drove the seats forward. Logan's mom hit the steering column with great force and was killed. He was catapulted through the windshield into the muddy water where he fortunately landed on his back. Battered from the impact, choking on his blood and unable to move, he survived by regulating his breathing to remain afloat until help arrived. Logan carries the crude tattoo -- 777 -- on his left forearm as a reminder of that night; July, 7th, 7:00 pm.
He spent 3 years living with an aunt and uncle in Inspiration, Bowie and Superior, Arizona. Then he was shifted to another aunt for high school in Warren Michigan, a blue collar suburb of Detroit. It was the first time he'd ever spent more than one year in a school. He was not allowed to play sports because athletic ability had been his dad's downfall. Obedient to his guardian's wishes, he attended her non-denominational, fundamentalist church four times a week for four years. The night he turned 18, he walked.
After taking the entrance exam to get into Wayne State University in inner city Detroit, he attended Monteith College, part of Wayne State. Monteith offered an experimental curriculum funded by the Ford Foundation whose mission was to expose a random sample of working class youth to a highly accelerated liberal arts program. Wayne State had a nationally ranked debate squad and fencing team. Logan was kicked off both of them for drinking.
He flunked out of school and matriculated into Detroit's auto factories, police rosters and bars until he volunteered for the draft in 1967. (Ethical dilemma: against the war, didn't want someone else going in his place.) In 1968, he volunteered for the paratroops, a sure ticket to Vietnam, and served 13 months carrying the radio for several small advisory teams; mainly in Dong Ha District in northern Quang Tri Province. He went into Vietnam without illusions, knowing it was bad history but in the end preferring the company of those who went to those who didn't. He earned a Combat Infantry Badge and a Bronze Star for valor.
In 1969 he migrated to Minnesota where he drew cartoons in the antiwar vets movement and finally sobered up. In 1975 he was hired as a staff artist at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. In 1985 he started writing. His Detroit novel and his Vietnam novel didn't sell. His hunting buddy John Camp, a reporter in the St. Paul newsroom whose crime novels (written under the name John Sandford) were taking up permanent residence on the best seller list, suggested that Logan back off the ponderous literary stuff and write a thriller.
Logan published his first book, Hunter's Moon, in 1996. He hasn't had a drink in 29 years, is married for the 3rd time and lives with his wife and daughter in Stillwater, Minnesota. His first four novels received consecutive starred reviews in Publisher's Weekly, which also called his new novel, After the Rain -- the fifth featuring protagonist Phil Broker -- "An unbeatable combination: a smart, well-honed plot, fascinating characters and a writer with an original voice and the prose skills to tie it all together."