More About the Author
Like Steve, I grew up on a Nebraska farm in the late1940s, had problems with my father, and decided to run away after an incident very much like the one that triggered Steve's flight. I didn't actually run away--Steve did. I have wondered what might have happened if I had done so, and the book is a product of that speculation. Having lived on a shoestring getting through graduate school (with a landlady who made sickeningly sweet cranberry punch), I have insight into what Steve endured in creating a new life in Alabama.
I graduated from the University of Nebraska, have an MA from Denver University, and earned a Ph.D in American history from the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill. I was a member of the UNC faculty briefly and was on the faculty at Murray State University for twenty-two years before retiring in 1996.
I also served eight years in the US Army, advancing to the rank of major. Assignments included commanding an infantry company in the 1st Cavalry Division near the DMZ in Korea (peacetime) and serving as an intelligence officer with the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam. I made more than fifty reconnaissance flights over enemy territory in support of ground operations.
I also served as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State.
From 1959 to 1962, I was American vice-consul at Duesseldorf, Germany. (In the course of my duties as Labor Affairs Officer, I was challenged to a drinking contest by the drinking champion of the German Mineworkers Union. Although I was virtually a teetotaler, I drank him under the table and remain the undefeated champion of the union.) After my tour in Germany, I served in the Department in Washington, resigning (in a fit of insanity I no longer understand) shortly after my promotion to reenter the Army--and winding up in Vietnam! I might note that my German ancestors were thrown out of Germany for refusing to join the Army.
My interests include reading, travel (I have visited all fifty states and fifty foreign countries), classical music, Nebraska Cornhusker football and volleyball, and genealogy (I have traced my father's family back to approximately 1490 in the Black Forest). I occasionally teach a German language class at one of the senior centers in Lincoln. I live with two cats--useful experience in creating Steve Bowman's feline companion, Man Friday, and I founded a humane society during my time in Kentucky.
Although I did quite a bit of writing during my academic, military, and diplomatic careers, I began creative writing only after my retirement to Lincoln in 1996. This is my first novel, but I have written five short stories. Any future writing will probably be in that genre.
A final (!) note--I was a two-time Jeopardy champion back in 1973.