I was born in West Texas. After completing my undergraduate studies at Oklahoma Christian University in 1973, I attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville from 1973 to 1981 where, along with my wife, Jeanine, I completed my MA and my PhD in English; Jeanine and I received our PhDs the same day.
Over the years I taught at Rochester College, Oklahoma State University–Oklahoma City, and Oklahoma Christian University, and for a number of years served as the Scholar-in-Residence for the English Department at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. Since my primary duties as Scholar-in-Residence involved research, writing, and teaching in areas of my research, I managed to write a number of books and to be active in organizations such as the Western Literature Association and the Southwest and Texas Popular Culture Association.
Jeanine and I have two adult children—Bart, a musician, and Tess, a philosopher. Most of my books have been about popular Westerns–novels and movies, literature of the Beat Generation, and the Romantic Movement. But I have also published widely on 18th-century English literature and current American poets,