Dale B. Mattheis, author of Exile to the Stars and books that follow in The Alarai Chronicles series, was born in Crookston, MN near the Canadian border. Growing up as a military dependent, Mr. Mattheis led a nomadic lifestyle while attending schools in Minnesota, Georgia, Florida, South Dakota, Iowa, and Kansas. It was, he relates, an amazing collage of experiences that created a restless nature always on the lookout for new and challenging experiences. One example he cited was working several summers for the forest service just out of high school.
After completing an undergraduate degree in Zoology at the University of Kansas, Mattheis attended medical school in Kansas City at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Following in his father’s footsteps, he joined the US Navy in his fourth year and after graduation in 1966 interned at the St. Albans Naval Hospital (now closed) in Queens, NY.Â The Vietnam War was at its peak and St. Albans was an evacuation destination. The author remembers it as a traumatic time of dealing with blown-apart bodies and lives.
Toward the end of his internship, Mattheis was asked to volunteer for the Submarine Service. He did so, and attended Submarine Medical School in New London, CT. Following graduation he was assigned to the U.S.S John Marshall, made two patrols, qualified to stand watch as diving officer, and was awarded his dolphins. Deciding a career in the Navy was not for him, Mr. Mattheis decided to pursue further study and was accepted into the psychiatry residency program at the University of Washington in Seattle.
After graduation the author practiced psychiatry for a number of years in the Puget Sound area. It was a difficult time, and he eventually left medicine with the sure knowledge that, while medicine was something he would use every day in one form or the other, he could not practice it as a profession.
Mattheis had always admired tradesmen and decided in following months to become a baker. When questioned about such a radical change, he found it hard to give a reason and finally stated that it was simply what he needed to do. Over the following 13 years he built up a wholesale baking company to respectable size. In 1994 it became apparent that his company was being strangled by a lack of affordable capital and he threw in the towel. Writing was something he had dreamed of for years, and he decided at that point to be done with doing and sat down at a keyboard to see what would come of it. The author’s first novel in the science-fiction genre resulted, Exile to the Stars.
In 1996, with his three children grown and gone, the author decided to answer a deep longing for the Midwest and returned to Minnesota. His interests outside writing are varied.
Sailing became a passion while in the service and he explored eastern waters from Long Island Sound to Martha’s Vineyard. After leaving the service and moving to the state of Washington, Mr. Mattheis became familiar with Puget Sound and points north in Canada. Although the opportunity to sail to more distant shores did not materialize, he continues to consider that possibility.
Bicycling is another passion, and it came along at just the right time since, the author notes, southern Minnesota is not gifted with oceans but is blessed with many bicycle paths. Mr. Mattheis currently rides about 2,000 miles a season and tries to be on the road as much as possible when not working, camping in the mountains, or visiting family.