Jon is a native of the Rocky Mountains whose pioneer family came west in the 1840s. He attended the University of Wyoming then joined the military, where he was a Russian linguist. After his discharge he completed his BA degree in California, majoring in Russian Language and Literature and English Literature. He then attended graduate school at Idaho State University, majoring in English but the budding gender politics of the times excluded him from pursuing an academic career, so he went into the oil exploration business. The work took him to some very exotic places, including Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Egypt, Chad, Tanzania, South Africa, and Yemen. He has also lived and worked in Europe and East Africa. He is an accomplished author, having written five novels, of which five have been published.