Ken was born in Dayton, Ohio. His grandmother told him when he was little, she would say, “Go get a book and I’ll read to you,” and he would run off and come back with a stack. He is told he was particularly fond of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and the movie The Wizard of Oz. He recalls reading lots of Greek and Roman mythology and comic books.
He grew up in Daytona Beach, Florida where, at age 13, he read Stephen King’s Christine and knew he wanted to be a writer. Over the next couple of years, he read Mr. King’s books way past his bedtime and under the desk during his classes. He spent the rest of his adolescent years devouring the works of Clive Barker, and then in college, John Irving and Tom Robbins.
After paying his dues in a variety of the sort of odd jobs which seem to be naturally concomitant to being an aspiring author (or spending your formative years reading novels under your desk), he moved to Rio de Janeiro and, among other things, taught English. There, he fell in love with crime fiction and currently numbers among his favorite authors James Ellroy, James Lee Burke, and Daniel Woodrell. Other recent favorite reads include The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman and Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway.
He currently spends at least part of the year in Portland, Oregon, eating Mexican food and trying to remember what the sun looks like.