Rickstad was raised in Vermont by a mother who worked as a hardware store clerk. His father owned a bait & tackle shop and left when Rickstad was young, but not before Rickstad learned to tell stories from old timers who sat around jawing and bullshitting.
exposed Rickstad to marijuana growers, criminals, cons, and raconteurs
as he worked as a bricklayer, roofer, house painter, and logger. One friend was imprisoned for growing marijuana; another friend shot to death by state police in the first live televised fugitive chase. Reap is based some of these experiences.
Rickstad’s writing led him from the Vermont woods to the halls of The University of Virginia where Faulkner , Poe and Breece Pancake left their marks. Here, as a Hoyns Fellow, he wrote the acclaimed novel Reap and classic American short stories.