About Us

Philip Pro_Photo 001I am a writer and a working man. I have always had brutal physical jobs: laborer on bridge construction; framing carpenter; shingler; UPS driver. I have no PhD’s or Master’s Degrees. I have never founded a foundation that was not made of cinder blocks or concrete, the best kind in my opinion. Which is to say I am a blue collar worker and writer. What I say is connected to the earth. What I write is born from bloody knuckles and sweaty days spent in the sun or cold hours below zero trying to keep warm. When I came home I was always so beaten up I could not write. And unless you’re Jack London, brutal labor doesn’t lead to great novel writing. So I did my writing in the morning, always three hours, never less. This is the pure creative time, the golden hours with the mind still refreshed from the sacred dark temples of sleep, when the mind is yet still and suspended in that nearly subconscious state that welcomes divine ideas from the twilight zone of thought.

I came across a gold mining camp hidden within a gorgeous and heavenly valley of the Sierra Nevada. Emblazoned on a tall sign were these words: We are a drinking camp with a mining problem. Just so. I am a writing man with a working problem. I must carve out writing time from the stone mountain of work. There are no grants or residencies or sabbaticals for the Clausen boy.
Because I am not a scientist, a scholar or an intellectual, I write very simply with vivid words. I know things empathically and poetically (like the poets knew the earth was round before the scientists figured it out) and I know things far beyond the knowing of the rational mind.

The Black Butterfly Woman is my first completed novel and people who read it ask me if I was a tunnel rat in the Vietnam war. I have never been inside the tunnels beneath Vietnam and only now that I am finished writing about them would I ever consider visiting them. I know they would be a disappointment compared to my imagination of them. My method is to do heavy research and then forget everything I have read and then let the imagination take over. Writing is magical. Extremely rational and intellectual people don’t get to play in the magic kingdom. The price of admission is to surrender your rationality and return to the purity of childhood belief.

I live in the heart of Iowa with two beautiful women, one of whom is my 94 year old mother. My next novel is called The Goldfinder, the story of a young man who discovers the Motherlode, the actual source of the California gold, during the Gold Rush. One of my repeating themes seems to be “Good-hearted love badly used.” My heroes and heroines always seem to suffer from this.