Short Bio: Back in the day, when Jeff was a kid, he watched plenty of westerns on TV, read a few books and always wanted to be a rancher. As it turned out, he never got there. Instead, he is a combat veteran army aviator, former deputy sheriff and death investigator, and longtime CPA. Now he sort of lives a rancher’s life vicariously through the books he writes. After his current project, the Rawhide Jake trilogy, there is more to come with the novels Paradise Creek, Sticker Joe Spurlock, Uno Diablos Tejano and The Morrow Saga.
Jeff lives by the polo fields in Indio, California, with Diane, his wife of over half a century, and Sofie, their canine love. His children and grandchildren reside in the next county over to the west. He wishes peace to everyone, everywhere.
Long Bio: The family trailblazer was Raymond Duke Arnold. He came west from Clay County, Missouri in 1910 at the age of 24, and signed on with the Norwegian farmers who were carving out a road grade that is now known as the Canejo Grade on U.S. Highway 101 in California. It is just about 50 miles west of downtown L.A. One of Ray’s skills was driving mules, and the Norwegians needed skinners to drive the many teams hitched to wagons loaded with rock and dirt. When the project ended in 1911, Ray returned to Missouri to gather up his new bride and all their worldly possessions to return to the land of opportunity. They ended up in Goleta, California, where Ray did well with his own freight company which he parlayed into a Seaside Oil franchise that he owned for over thirty years, and then retired. Along the way Harold Duke Arnold was born and thirty years later Jeffrey Dean Arnold, Ray’s grandson, was delivered at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara.
JD Arnold is a novelist specializing in American western lore within historical contexts used fictitiously. His craft in this genre evolves from decades of immersion in the history of the American West and many Western novels. It started when he was eight years old with the book Ken on the Navajo Trail by Basil Miller, ©1948 Zondervan Publishing. As a teenager he roamed the Santa Ynez Valley in California, near Santa Barbara, when it was populated by cattle and wild boars and not single-family residences, grape vines, casinos and Never-Never Land. His great uncle owned an egg farm in Solvang and raised thoroughbred horses. As a young military officer, he lived with his young and pretty wife in Texas and in Oklahoma on the Chisholm Trail, where he was exposed to the range of the plains. After his military service, he resided in eastern Oregon near the huge ZX and MC ranches and in the Rogue Valley. All the foregoing is set forth simply to demonstrate Jeff’s exposure to and love for the American West, which is a prerequisite to writing stories of the same.
Jeff’s writing career began part-time in the eighties. He managed to publish two novels and a testimonial about a personal pilgrimage. Now he is at it full-time and has found his stride in embellished historical western lore. He is devoted to detailed historical research from which to develop plots for interesting stories written in the easy prose of the American West. He has manuscripts in various stages of production and planning. Most recently, his first novel of a trilogy on the life and times of Detective Jonas V. Brighton, Rawhide Jake: Learning the Ropes, was published by Five Star, and Book II, Rawhide Jake: Lone Star Fame, was released by Five Star in October 2022. Book III, Rawhide Jake: Westward Ho! is scheduled for publication by Hat Creek Press in June 2023. Paperback and eBook releases of the trilogy are tentatively set to come out in 2023.
Jeff has contracted with Roan & Weatherford Publishing Associates to publish three more novels under the Hat Creek Press imprint. They are Paradise Creek, a story about the life and times of a Texas special ranger stock detective, his reformed soiled dove wife and their four children circa 1893 to 1918. Sticker Joe Spurlock, Uno Diablo Tejano about the whole life of a Texas Ranger from childhood to the grave beginning in the formative years of the Texas Republic. The Morrow Saga, a family saga set north of the Mogollon Rim in Arizona at the turn of the 20th century. Jeff has a backlist of one self-published book and two other books by fee arrangement under the pen name Jeffrey Maria D Arnold.
Other occupations previously undertaken by Jeff are: army officer and aviator, Vietnam veteran, deputy sheriff, public health clinical assistant, death investigator, certified public accountant, and commercial real estate broker.
Licenses he holds are Certified Public Accountant, State of California (inactive), Real Estate Broker, State of California (inactive) and FAA Commercial Pilot – Rotorcraft/Helicopter (non-current).
Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science in General Studies from Southern Oregon State College He lives by the polo fields in Indio with his wife of 55 continuous years, Diane, and their mini-schnauzer, Sofie. Children and grandchildren reside in the next county over to the west.