High and Inside High and Inside is the story of Pete Hurley, a former relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. After helping the Red Sox win the World Series, Pete has fallen on hard times since his career ended. He drinks too much, and finds himself in the news more often than not with the word "troubled" before his name. An incident at the end of his career led to a rule bearing his name, and he is the butt of jokes on all of the ESPN shows. So he decides to move to Montana to get away from it all and build a house. But his drinking only creates more problems, and he eventually has to make a trip back to Massachusetts to confront his demons. High and Inside explores the dark side of fame, especially for sports figures. Leif Enger, author of Peace Like a River, has this to say about High and Inside:

"Like its protagonist, Russell Rowland's novel isn't afraid to come at you with the hard stuff. There's no false glamour in this portrayal of a World Series champ done in by lousy choices, no shortage of painful consequence, and no cheap grace in his eventual redemption. Rowland's people are on a search, and he writes them with wit, humility, and a satisfying sense of trajectory."

Russell Rowland was born in Bozeman, Montana, in 1957. His first novel, In Open Spaces, made the San Francisco Chronicle bestseller list and was named among the "Best of the West 2002" by the Salt Lake City Tribune. It received a starred review in Publisher's Weekly. Rowland's second novel, The Watershed Years, also garnered rave reviews and was a finalist for the High Plains Book Award for fiction. His third novel is High and Inside, the story of a former Red Sox pitcher who moves to Bozeman, Montana to try to rebuild a shattered life.

Rowland lives in his home town of Billings, where he teaches at MSU-Billings and offers private editing consultation. He has taught at Boston University and was a writer in residence at St. Mary's College. Russell holds a BA from Pacific Lutheran University and an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University.

West of 98


In August of 2011, the University of Texas Press released WEST OF 98: LIVING AND WRITING THE NEW AMERICAN WEST, edited by Russell Rowland and Lynn Stegner. This collection of essays by writers from every state west of the Mississippi explores what it means to each of them to have grown up in the West, and how they see the Western identity changing. The Billings Gazette said the book is "a crazy-quilt definition of the Western landscape and its people." Among the writers featured in this anthology are Larry McMurtry, Louise Erdrich, Rick Bass, Gretel Ehrlich, Barry Lopez, Maxine Hong Kingston, William Kittredge, and Ursula Le Guin. More details are available at



The pages for In Open Spaces and The Watershed Years include reviews of these books.

Russell Rowland offers TIPS FOR WRITING A NOVEL in an interview posted on, including the role of "place" in a novel and how setting affects characters and plot. He describes common problems and solutions for fiction writers, along with tips for the journey to publication.

David Abrams of January Magazine interviewed Rowland for its literary profiles series.

Read the interview  

Montana Public RadioThe Write Question is a radio program exploring the world of writing and publishing in the western United States. Produced by Chérie Newman, the interview is online [HERE].

From MTPR:  Holiday advice from Lenore Hershey: GIVE BOOKS. "They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal."

This interview on MTPR was produced by Chérie Newman and Michael Marsolek, with thanks to Barbara Theroux, Prageeta Sharma, Renée McGrath, and Kim Anderson. The Write Question is supported in part by The Greater Montana Foundation and by Humanities Montana.