Some families are full of storytellers, and Robert Wright was fortunate to grow up in such a clan. As a young boy, he eagerly absorbed his grandfather’s exciting tales about medical practice on the frontier West. Yet as he grew older, he became aware of an unspoken past. Who was the girl in the photograph on the dresser? What had happened to his Aunt Jean?
The mysteries behind the questions drove him to delve deeper, and soon he resolved to fully capture and recount his grandfather’s thrilling life. As a teenager, sitting with a typewriter on his lap, he had the foresight to grill his grandmother for details.
To achieve a cohesive manuscript, he spent nearly two decades gathering information, conducting interviews, speaking with a variety of medical specialists, researching the time period, and writing seemingly endless revisions. As time went by and rejections piled up, he became resigned to never seeing his book published. Then his daughter Laura urged him to submit it to Washington State University Press. She claimed, “It would be perfect for them. They publish Northwest history.” Happily, his final attempt paid off with Rugged Mercy, his first book.
Hailey, Idaho native Robert Wright moved to Seattle to accept an opportunity in radio broadcasting at KIRO. He currently lives in Everett, Washington, and is the senior vice president at a Seattle real estate investment firm.
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