John V. Griffin

John V. Griffin

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John V. Griffin (1936-1995) was born in Boston, Massachusetts. During the early 1960s, he worked as a radar technician on the Distant Early Warning (DEW) radar line in Alaska. Subsequently, he became a writer for industry and worked on a variety of writing assignments for defense and electronic firms. In 1967, he headed a team of technical writers on a project to document communications in South Vietnam. In 1972, he received his Bachelor's degree in English from Northeastern University, and in 1973, he earned a Master's degree in Education. Because of his various assignments and travel, it took him 13 years of night school to earn his degrees. In 1977, his job was relocated, and a 10-minute commute became a very long one-hour commute. To combat the tedium of the ride, he started to tape-record notes for a possible book about his different writing jobs. Quite quickly, the notes became voluminous, so he selected one of his earliest and most interesting jobs - on the DEWLine at Icy Cape, Alaska. In John's own words, written at the time of original publication in 1980, he states: "Like many people who had majored in English in college, I suspected that somewhere within me was a book, but the thought of endless hours of typing always dissuaded me from starting such an effort. However, with the aid of a tape-recorder and computerized word-processor, I produced this novel. For over two years it was: up at 4:00 am, organize thoughts while showering and having coffee; leave the house at 5:00 and tape-record manuscript; from 6:00 until 8:00 am transcribe, word-process, and edit. One of the most difficult aspects of the project was to stop. During the last few months, the book became obsessive, consuming all my 'spare' time." [The above biography comes from John V. Griffin's original "About the Author and the Book".]
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