Sam was raised in Jackson, Wyoming. At different times he has been fortunate enough to also live in southern Thailand, Banff, Alberta, and Moab, Utah, but Wyoming has always been "home." Traveling and living in such diverse places has helped Sam greatly as a writer. Not only has it provided a plethora of settings to build stories upon, but also given insight into diverse people and cultures.
Sam says, "I never intended to be a writer... it just happened. I fell in love with Thailand on my first trip to the country in 1989, and was so inspired that I had to put my experience down with pen on paper." Since then he has been traveling and writing all over the world. Most of his work has revolved around the outdoor industry, specifically climbing, but Sam is passionate about history and actually prefers to write on that subject.
Long before Sam was a writer, he was a climber. "Virtually everything I have done over the past 40 years has revolved around the sport of climbing, and that includes my writing. There is no way to track "what might have been," but I'm pretty sure if I had not become a climber, I would not have become a writer." To Sam, climbing is not just a sport. It is a lifestyle.