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I am a native Arizonan, born and bred, though in the middle of that were a lot of years living on a ranch in Nebraska. When I wasn't running wild in the desert, I was driving cattle across the Great Plains on an ATV. With countless aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings, I have been immersed in crazy life stories since before I can remember, and sometimes lose track if they were mine or somebody else's. All that wide-open nature and yarn-spinning sparked an imagination that never shuts down, and the only way to deal with that is to do the opposite: let it run and see where it goes. That's how anyone gets anywhere interesting, anyway. As a result of this, books are born and their characters are spontaneously added into conversations with real life people, which causes no end of confusion. I also have a lot of real life experience and a whole bunch of higher education, but tend to get lost in books and the great outdoors, so who knows if they actually do me any good.

*portrait by Ashley Kron for 440 & co.