Roger spent the first eighteen years of his life in northern Indiana. His father was the only doctor for a small town of 1200, and had a hitching rail on a side street by his office for the Amish patients. His father bought an eighty acre farm, and Roger and his older brother worked it, raising cattle and growing crops.
While he was still in high school, Roger learned woodworking skills from Elmer Schlabach, his Amish mentor. They built houses in the old-fashioned tradition, from hand-mixing the concrete for the foundations to hand-nailing the shingles. The only phase they did not do was the electrical. To this day, Roger enjoys using his wood crafting skills, making acoustic guitars and furniture.
Roger earned an undergraduate degree in Behavioral Psychology from a small private college in the Shenandoah Valley, took a Creative Writing class, loved it, and published a short story called “My Brother.” He was a regular contributing writer to the college newspaper.
After nearly thirty years living in Austin, Texas, watching it grow into a large city, Roger and his wife Ginny moved to a small farm in the Pacific Northwest.
“I’m not sure why I chose a story about an Amish kid crossing over into the English world for my first novel,” said Roger. “Probably partly because I’m familiar with the Amish, but also because I’ve always been intrigued with stories that challenge assumptions and break with stereotypes, and boy, does Rumspringa challenge our assumptions!
The story line in my second novel, Yield Spread, is also a topic I’m familiar with; the world of banking and mortgage lending. Playing with other peoples’ money is an intoxicating ride, and we’ve seen its inevitable consequences in the last few years. This isn’t the first time we have been brought to our knees due to the reckless behavior of the banking community, nor will it be the last, but in our freewheeling financial world, we tend to ignore history. Yield Spread is the story of a man you’ll love to hate, JP Mallot, and the forces that enabled and even condoned his behavior and its bitter consequences.”
Yield Spread will be out sometime in Spring 2011.