Roger spent the first eighteen years of his life in northern Indiana, in the middle of Amish country. His father was the only doctor for a small town of a little over a thousand people, and had a hitching rail on a side street by his office for the Amish patients. His father bought an eighty acre farm, and Roger and his older brother worked it, raising cattle and growing crops.
While he was still in high school, Roger learned woodworking skills from Elmer Schlabach, his Amish mentor. They built houses in the old-fashioned tradition; hand-mixing the concrete for the foundations to building kitchen cabinets in Elmer's well equipped shop. To this day, Roger enjoys using his wood crafting skills, making acoustic guitars and furniture.
Roger earned an undergraduate degree in Behavioral Psychology from a small private college in the Shenandoah Valley, took a Creative Writing class, loved it, and published a short story called "My Brother." He was a regular contributing writer to the college newspaper.
After nearly thirty years living in Austin, Texas, watching it grow into a large city, Roger and his wife Ginny moved to a small farm in the Pacific Northwest.