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Like the main character of his book W. Russell (Rusty) King is the son of a Naval officer and lived on Adak, Alaska, from October 1978 to July of 1981. He graduated from Bob Reeve High School on Adak in 1981 and there really were only 21 people in his graduating class. He had an internship with the USFWS Aleutian Islands National Wildlife Refuge through the high school, thanks to his counselor. Many events in the book are based on actual events.
He lives in Elk Grove, CA with his wife and two teenage sons, who at the time of writing this book are exactly the same age as he and his younger brother were when his family moved to Adak.
He is a licensed mechanical engineer. He teaches and writes technical training manuals on building science topics such as energy efficiency and HVAC design. His hobbies include boating, camping, fishing, hiking and bird watching. He was a licensed falconer for twelve years.
He doesn’t think the Nantok are real, but he can’t remember for sure.