About the Author

Arriving in Central Oregon at age 5, Peter Sandel grew up inspired by the beauty and natural history of the Pacific Northwest. Walking to and from Bear Creek Elementary School, in Bend, he would notice the ground squirrels foraging through the ponderosa pinecones. Examining the cones, he discovered pine nuts and began to nibble on them. Finding them to be a tasty treat, he soon became drawn into the environment around him. So much so, that throughout his young life, the Deschutes River Canyon became his most sacred place.

The first scene of the story was inspired by a real experience Peter had at the top of Lava Butte in Central Oregon, where Peter met the first of two of Central Oregon’s finest, Phil Brogan, author of “East of the Cascades,” and later, near Fort Rock, Rube Long, co-author of “The Oregon Desert.” These two men were “living Central Oregon history.” Their words made a big impression on Peter Sandel at a very early age.

Peter would spend many a morning along the Deschutes River, breathing in the sweet-spicy air and watching the sun peak over the rimrock, as the creatures of the canyon began their day. These times along the river would become the most formative of his life.

The family would soon move over the mountains to Salem Oregon, where Peter graduated from Sprague High School and then Oregon State University. During summer months, before and during college, he fought forest fires for the Oregon State Department of Forestry.

After college, Peter spent the next 30 years making his living writing, designing and illustrating as an art director and creative director in locations from the San Francisco Bay Area, to Portland Oregon, and Montana. He has developed and produced everything from advertising campaigns, annual reports, and capability brochures, to SEO copy and other online content, winning several awards for this work.

Peter Sandel’s tranquil times along the Deschutes River, hiking and fishing with his father and brother, provided him with insights that would influence him for the rest of his life. While sitting for hours among the local inhabitants of the canyon, he began to understand more about each of them, and the interactions between them. These were the stories and images that would inspire him to create the world of Rimrock.