Brian K Kerley

Writer, Bush Pilot, and Teacher in Tok, Alaska

I’m Brian K Kerley. I was born in Northern California in 1958, but I have been a dyed-in-the-wool Alaskan since 1980. However, Barb (my wife) and I spent two years in Maui, and we do like to snow-bird from time to time.

As a young man I had worked as a timber cutter and tow truck driver for a few years, and then as I neared the age of twenty-two, I moved to Alaska, where I delivered my son in a very small log cabin by kerosene light. We also had the help of two midwives and a Coleman lantern.

I worked many jobs in the fishing industry, including fisherman, harbor master, and crane operator. I was an EMT and became a carpenter. My significant other and I homesteaded some remote land off the road system, living the bush life as a mountain man and woman, raising our kids, hunting and fishing for our fare. We came out to civilization only for seasonal work and supplies.

After serving as an Army medic during the first Gulf War, I worked on the Dutch Harbor crab fleet as a welder and commercial diver. The next decade found us first in Maui for two years where I taught scuba and guided dives—I also sold underwater photography and then back home to the Alaskan bush.

When we returned to Alaska we loved our wilderness home but the bug for adventure called to me so I went back to school and earned an AAS degree in aviation at UAA. I became a bush pilot, and then Barb and I got married on our 22nd anniversary.

I have lived my life for experience, travel, and adventure, embracing danger as safely as possible. I like money, but it has never been the driving factor in choosing my/our opportunities. I believe this background has given my writing depth and understanding of many things, incliuding the human condition and the natural world.

A few years after becoming a professional pilot, Barb and I adopted our grandson. His name is also Brian.

My nonfiction pilot stories were met with considerable appreciation and a project is in the works, but my true love is genre fiction, especially historical fiction. I published my first novel, "The Octagon Key," a sci-fi/fantasy, sort of but probably more dystopian, and "Key Keeper's Daughter" is a continuance and more YA while still somewhat dystopian in nature it is where Age of Sail meets Steam Punk. "Fortress" is next.

I have an AAS in aviation / professional piloting, a Bachelor's degree in English and will soon have a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

  • Work
    • Writer-BushPilot-GunShipper
  • Education
    • National University
    • University of Alaska Fairbanks
    • University of Alaska Anchorage