I’m on a mission. I’m exploring the culture and history of the Mississippi River from the Headwaters to the Gulf. It’s my obsession. I started this project in 2007 by spending a couple of days in the Quad Cities in January (yes, you can travel along the river in winter). This led to more days in the Quad Cities, which led to weeks along the river north of the Quad Cities, which led to the passage of a couple of years and the publication of three travel guides: the Quad Cities Travel Guide, the guide to the river between Lansing and Le Claire, and the Driftless Area Travel Guide. You can read more about them here.
I also write shorter pieces about the river for publications such as Big River Magazine. I post regular updates describing my experiences, progress on the books, or whatever seems relevant at the moment.
I’m always looking for an excuse to tell the stories of the people and the places of the Mississippi Valley. In 2014, I’m introducing a new way, through fiction. Rock Island Lines is the first book in a series of mysteries set in river towns with troubled travel writer Frank Dodge at the heart.
Before I began this project, I worked as a research psychologist for a dozen years. For another dozen years previous to that, I was a student. Before I was a student, I was just me.
A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of talking with Cheryl Fusco-Johnson of KRUU radio in Fairfield, Iowa (the station is completely powered by solar energy!). We spent a delightful hour talking about the Mississippi River and writing. You can stream the interview here.