1961 - When seventeen-year-old Jude sees his coach's handwritten note offering two free tickets to the Rose Bowl game between the University of Minnesota and UCLA, he thinks his small-town parochial life as a preacher’s kid is suddenly about to change for the better. Rather than being buried in the bleak Minnesota winter, he and his friend could be on their way to freedom in sunny California. But as Jude and his friend set out to hitchhike Route 66, Jude soon realizes they’ve embarked on more than a road trip. As the teens encounter a series of trials that test their fortitude, beliefs, and ambitions, Jude must rethink what really matters and whether the freedom he seeks is even possible. A story of friendship and discovery written in the vein of The Catcher in the Rye, the novel addresses the larger questions of life through the fresh and fervent eyes of youthful angst.


It started with an email I wrote to my son. He was doing some crazy things at the time, and I wanted to explain to him that he was not alone and that when I was his age I did some pretty crazy things myself. So I wrote him about the time a friend and I hitchhiked to the Rose Bowl. As I tried to recall the trip, I realized that there was very little of the trip that I could actually remember. I sent my son what I could remember, but then decided to go back and fill in the gaps. Where I couldn't remember what happened, I made things up. I knew the trip had a profound impact on me, but I didn't know just how much until I started to peel away at the truth of the trip through fiction and that's how this novel came about.

The novel took more time than I would have liked, as it often had to take back seat to my wanderlust. During this time, I made five extended around-the-world trips and numerous shorter trips. In all, I visited close to 150 countries. My style of traveling is not for everyone, certainly not my wife. I travel too quickly from one country to the next, which she hates and I like because it gives me the opportunity to compare and contrast countries' cultures, religions, and political systems. I occasionally blog during these trips, trying to capture the world through the eyes of others. Writing and traveling has opened me up to the role myths play in our lives. I see it everywhere and as a result it has become a theme that I am now exploring in my next book.

Sources tell me I should also include my resume here. It's not pretty, but ends well. It all started with my first job, which was pulling weeds for 75 ¢ per hour. That was the hardest job I’ve ever had. Since then it's been all down hill. I’ve washed dishes, carried out groceries, dug ditches, put up road signs, painted control systems, umped softball games, threw beer busts, routed airplanes, bartended, learned to shoot an M-16, taught English, hired and fired people, and launched a number of companies. Somewhere along the way I managed to get a degree in Philosophy and an advance degree in Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota. After all is said and done, I ended up happily married, with two beautiful and talented children (now adults) living in a small town overlooking the Pacific Ocean, just south of San Francisco. I am a very happy man. Just ask my wife.

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