Joe Drivdahl grew up in Dillon, Montana and has embraced Glendive, Montana as his home since 1993. Of course eastern Montana has not been the typical fertile ground for crime novelists but Drivdahl has succeeded in creating “Murder in the West Bottoms” an engaging book rich in mystery and suspense. The novel follows the life and struggles of a high profile lawyer, Sage Chandler, who is half pulled, half pushed into a life of a private investigator. Not content merely to be a bystander, Chandler takes on a more involved case poking into a mystery and uncovers buried secrets and romance.
The West Bottoms is the oldest part of Kansas City. It was the destination of many old west cattle drives. Then later, during the industrial age, the West Bottoms became a warehouse district. Many of the buildings are old and dilapidated, but Kansas City leaders are currently trying to renovate the area.
Drivdahl has been influenced by many authors over the years, including John Sandford, Clive Kussler, Stephen King, and CJ Box, who writes novels set in the rocky mountains.
When asked about why he attempted his novel Drivdahl he said, “I have always wanted to write a novel. I tried writing one in the past, but became overwhelmed in the middle and could never finish it. I finally gave up and decided to try something new. I got the basic idea for West Bottoms and started writing. Next thing I knew, I had over 100 pages. The story just sort of developed itself along the way. It’s amazing how the book just takes on a life of its own after a while.”
Drivdahl, whose day job is teaching English at Dawson Community College, has self published his first novel by creating his own publishing company called 4th Street Books. 4th Street is the only one of its kind on the eastern plains. He is seeking to turn out novels by other talented writers through 4th Street Books while giving his students firsthand knowledge of publishing with the small start-up.
If you are an author who has written a novel but might be technologically challenged, contact Joe. He can help you begin your creative writing career with an Associate of Arts transfer degree from Dawson Community College. Email Joe Drivdahl at Drivdahl@dawson.edu or call 406-377-3396. Find 4th Street Books on the web at www.4thstbooks.com.