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J.A. Bland was born in coastal Southern California in 1955, the middle child of seven siblings. He spent his early years in the South Western states. His father was raised on a farm in rural Horry County, South Carolina while his mother was born in Oregon and raised in California. After recovering from a near fatal accident at the age of 15, he began traveling the country. Either by foot, hitchhiking or jumping freight trains; the sights and sounds, and the aroma of the land and its people are forever embedded in his soul. For many years he cataloged his experiences, always with the intention of writing about them. Drawing on that beginning, the desire to write began to grow early on.
A voracious reader at an early age, he devoured the works of Poe, Kipling and Tolkien, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Louis L’Amour. He studied the philosophy of Plutarch and Socrates, Epicurus and Marcus Aurelius, and the lessons of Sun Tzu and Niccolò Machiavelli, modeling himself after characters of strength and compassion.
Proving his mettle as a paratrooper in the US Army at the age of 18, he carries that esprit de corps with him today. As a soldier he learned to understand the ethics of leadership and the strength of team work, ever in the support of the underdog and stepping in to help those in need. He imbues those traits into the characters of whom he writes.
With paternal roots in the Deep South and maternal roots in the Northwest, he is truly a man of the country. During brief sojourns to family farms in the south he developed a deep love of the land and an understanding of stewardship of the earth, adapting many southern mannerisms of his father, uncles and grandfather.
Having traveled nearly all of the lower 48 states, Central America and parts of Europe, and having hung his hat in more than a dozen states, he now calls the Colorado Rocky Mountains his home.
J.A. Bland writes of the places of his past, bringing them into the present and into the future with imagination, clear vision, compassion and a strong heart.