Arthur Estes is very comfortable with a pseudonym. For one thing, his family name is notoriously difficult to spell and for another, his identical twin brother objects to seeing his name, or something close to it, in public. There’s been enough confusion on that front already.
Estes sampled a number of professions that influenced what and how he writes, including (among others), a stint as a janitor in a TB hospital, a roughneck laborer in a huge paper mill, college student, a counselor in a juvenile prison and a graduate student. Eventually with all his digits and health intact, he settled on teaching, a profession he followed for some time.
The idea for Arthur Rex began with the stories he’d heard about an elderly British gent, a fearless wanderer of a type that disappeared some time ago. The man was incredibly wiry, as would be expected, and explored, by raft, camel, horse, llama and foot great swatches of several continents. What exactly he was searching for he evidently never said. But something was out there. Eventually the Great War caught up with him. One afternoon a stray German artillery shell obliterated his staff car. He survived miraculously, immigrated to the USA and left Estes, his grandson, with a legacy that implied so much.