All my life, I never realized you could have a conversation with a ghost.
There's good money in true crime, I'm told, and plenty of it lying around, but it's a devil of an art form.
Chadron had a water tower, grain elevators, a tanning salon, a video rental store, a small liberal arts college, a Hardee's, a stoplight, and a curling yellow sign in the pet store window that read, 'Hamsters and Tarantulas Featured Today.'
I'm that sensitive, honest guy who likes people, wants to know why, and who puzzles everyone by continually putting himself in harm's way.
I studied a truckload of true crime, praying for illumination, but most true crime relies on luridness and voyeurism for effect.
I'm compared to Kerouac, I suppose, because he traveled and rejected middle-class values, but the similarities end there.
Because I've lived a risky and unconventional life, I don't often struggle for subjects to write about.
'Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere' took me six years to write.
I have learned that I am not built for conflict or controversy. I have also learned that, in all my life, I have never chosen a story. The story has always chosen me.
One evening, after my wife and son had gone out for a walk, I decided to have a talk with my neighbor, who I believe was murdered. I had gotten to know and admire him by listening to people talk about him. He seemed a wonderful person with much to give.
I first came across Chadron, Nebraska, by accident in 1994.
Most people would live in an outhouse in Bangladesh before they would voluntarily move to Nebraska.
Western Nebraska is the only place in all my travels where I have seen the dust blowing and the rain falling at the same time.