David Stetler’s parents were living fifty yards from the Texas-Louisiana border, at the foot of the Sabine Pass Coast Guard Station when Dave was born. Sabine Pass, Texas, had survived many hurricanes over the years, but the village was blown out to sea in 2005 and again in 2008. Dave's father served in ports from Boston to Key West to Corpus Christi, and so Dave had the good fortune to live much of his childhood as an undisciplined pugilator in Port Aransas, Texas. Also, he endured the strict Catholic discipline of his mother's hometown, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, where he acquired an acquaintanceship with the Cajun language and a lifelong interest in Cajun cooking—his family and relatives being the best cooks along the Bayou Teche. He declined a scholarship offer from the College of William and Mary and spent two years in the U.S. Army to attend, on The G.I. Bill, The University of Texas, where he truly was intended to go, from which he graduated, and where he was reluctantly tolerated by the great teacher and scholar, T.G. Steffan.
Dave taught at U.T. as a graduate student, at Texas A&I University, and in Augusta, Georgia, where he has lived since 1967. He has touched hands with Ella Fitzgerald, Earl "Fatha" Hines, Jessye Norman, Luciano Pavarotti, Odetta, Irma Thomas, Hans Richter-Haaser, Aaron Copland, John Carradine, David Madden, Erskine Caldwell, Norman Mailer, Upton Sinclair, Katherine Anne Porter, Eudora Welty, John Barth, Reynolds Price, and James Dickey. He received a gift from Walker Percy after forwarding to him a first edition of The Moviegoer that had been autographed by Rory Calhoun, who didn't know that he was, in a way, the star of the novel.
Dave hopes to complete four more novels, which he’s been working on for twenty years. Most importantly, he enjoys the affection of three sons and five grandsons.
Also, he regrets shaking hands with Walt Rostow and Dean Rusk.