Norman Ollestad was born in Los Angeles in 1967 and grew up in Malibu. He studied creative writing at UCLA and graduated from UCLA Film School. He is the author of a novel, "Driftwood", and several screenplays. He is the father of a son, Noah, and resides in Venice, California.
In a spare, brisk prose, Ollestad tells the tragic story of the pivotal event of his life, an airplane crash into the side of a mountain that cost three lives, including his father's, in 1979. Only 11 years old at the time, he alone survived, using the athletic skills he learned in competitive downhill skiing, amid the twisted wreckage, the bodies and the bone-chilling cold of the blizzard atop the 8,600-foot mountain. Although the narrative core of the memoir remains the horrifying plane crackup into the San Gabriel Mountains, its warm, complex soul is conveyed by the loving relationship between the former FBI agent father and his son, affectionately called the "Boy Wonder," during the golden childhood years spent in wild, freewheeling Malibu and Mexico in the late 1970s. Ollestad's unyielding concentration on the themes of courage, love and endurance seep into every character portrait, every scene, making this book an inspiring, fascinating read. (May) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
'The memoir is as much about a father-son relationship as it is a survival story ... Ollestad says his father's life philosophy about surfing and skiing - `'knowing there's always a place to go and find peace, clear your mind'' - got him down the mountain and through life.'USA Today 'I could not stop reading this thrilling memoir ... a heart-stopping adventure that ends in tragedy and triumph, a love story that fearlessly explores the bond between a father and a son and what it means to lead a life without limits.'Susan Cheever ''Crazy for the Storm' is truly extraordinary - an adventure story with a rich psychological foundation from an enormously talented author. Ollestad's portraits are beautifully contradictory and complex - brutal, brave and human - and the book is filled with wonderful dramatic moments. In scene after scene, these images beg to be savoured, yet they drive the story forward with tremendous force. 'Crazy for the Storm' is a powerful book. It deserves to be a bestseller.'Lucinda Franks, Pulitzer Prize winning author 'As much a thriller as a memoir ... gorgeously written, perfectly controlled.'Carolyn See ' A heart-stopping story beautifully told ... Norman Ollestad has written a book that may well be read for generations. It's a book that fathers should give to their sons, but sons should give it to their fathers, too. And mothers, wives, sisters and daughters - read it and weep for all the boys and men you have ever loved.'Russell Banks