The son of John and Viola Hastings, author Swede Hastings was born in 1941 in the small town of Roseburg, Oregon. In his early years, the family moved about the western part of the United States, following the fruit and work available. His family later returned to Roseburg and bought a small farm. In 1958 Swede joined the US Navy. The next year there was a major explosion in the city of Roseburg, devastating the town. Swede, age 18, received emergency leave to help his family. While on leave, an accidental hunting tragedy resulted in his 15 year old brother's death. Due to the emotional trauma he was suffering, Swede was institutionalized in California, where he had relived details of the accident. It was this tragedy which inspired him to write his first poem, Creeping Shadows. Once released from the hospital, Swede found that keeping busy kept his mind off the accident. Throughout different highs and lows of his life, Swede would turn to words as an outlet. As with his first poem, the page seemed to hold the answers for dealing with things too emotional to confront any other way. Swede feels that there is a time and place for each thought to be expressed, and we all have our unique individual ways to express our feelings. Since the experience of accepting the Lord, Swede believes that 'The best is yet to come."