The author of twenty books, Patrick Dearen is a recognized authority on the history of the Pecos River country. Born in 1951, Dearen grew up in Sterling City, Texas, and earned a bachelor of journalism from The University of Texas at Austin. In six years as a reporter for daily newspapers in Texas, he received nine national and state journalism awards.
His respected series of books on the Pecos country include Castle Gap and the Pecos Frontier, Portraits of the Pecos Frontier, Crossing Rio Pecos, A Cowboy of the Pecos, Halff of Texas, and Devils River: Treacherous Twin to the Pecos, 1535-1900. Through his books The Last of the Old-Time Cowboys and Saddling Up Anyway: The Dangerous Lives of Old-time Cowboys, he has also preserved the stories of the last generation of cowhands who plied their trade before mechanization along the Pecos and elsewhere.
Dearen's four children's novels, including On the Pecos Trail, have introduced young readers to the rich history of the river and surrounding area. His newest adult novel, To Hell or the Pecos, is set on the Pecos of the 1880s.
Dearen has been published by presses at Texas Christian University and Texas Tech University, as well as by national houses such as Simon and Schuster. He has been honored by Western Writers of America, San Antonio Conservation Society, Will Rogers Medallion Awards, West Texas Historical Association, and Permian Historical Association.
An outdoors enthusiast, Dearen has backpacked the headwaters of the Pecos and canoed its lower canyons. He makes his home in Midland with his wife Mary, managing editor of the Midland Reporter-Telegram.