Author Bio - Brad Newsham
Brad Newsham I was born in 1951 in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. I have one older sister and two younger brothers. We lived in Alexandria, Virginia, except for a short stay in Hawaii in 1960. My father was a cartographer for the CIA for 33 years, my mother the youngest of six children from a Pennsylvania coal miner's family. Both my parents were Christian Scientists, and I was raised in that religion.

I was a miserable student, and for my last year of high school, in hopes of a turnaround, I was sent to Principia Upper School in St. Louis, Missouri, a school for the sons and daughters of Christian Scientists. At graduation (1968) the only college that accepted me was Principia College, in Elsah, Illinois. I decided to go there instead of to the Vietnam War, and in 1972 I was sent out into the world with a degree in history and sociology and without a clue about what to do with the rest of my life.

For several months I worked as an asphalt paver, for several more I drove a touring concert harpist around the United States, and then in 1973 I went off for what I thought would be a quick peek at Europe. Instead I wandered for seven months (Morocco, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan), an experience that forever changed my life.

Between 1974 and 1982 I bounced between Colorado, Idaho, and Arizona, and between jobs as a dishwasher, school bus driver, construction worker, waiter, underground molybdenum miner, and small town newspaper reporter. In 1977, in Idaho, two friends and I built a log house on 60 of the most beautiful acres of land I've ever seen. (I sold my share long ago, but the house is still in great shape, and one of my friends has lived there ever since).

My first wife, Beverly, and I married in 1980, and in 1982 took a six-month trip around the world (Hong Kong, Thailand, India, USSR, Greece). Afterwards we moved to San Francisco, where I found work as a secretary at Wells Fargo Bank. When the marriage fell apart in 1984, I took a consolation lap around the world (Japan, China, the Trans-Siberian Railroad), and then spent nine months holed up in a tiny apartment in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, writing a manuscript about my trip. In 1985 I started driving a taxicab and quickly grew to love it - I've been at it for seventeen years and counting. In 1989, Random House published my manuscript - All the Right Places.

In 1988-89, I took another trip around the world and then - in San Francisco and during eight months in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico - wrote my second book, Take Me With You. In 1995 I married Rhonda Gillenwaters, and in 1996 we welcomed little Sarah Newsham into our lives. I've been an at-home dad and weekend cabdriver ever since.

It wasn't until the year 2000 that Travelers' Tales - and God bless Travelers' Tales! - finally published the hardback version of Take Me With You. In 2002 it was published in paperback by Ballantine (USA) and Bantam (UK).

Four days after September 11, 2001, I turned fifty years old.

(I've been interviewed many times since the release of Take Me With You, and if you'd care to read one of my favorites, please click here.)

Brad's NPR Interview (RealAudio)
 
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