Brownson is presently a novelist, a book artist and occasional teacher of creative writing to beginners. He writes, “I was born in a small town in South Dakota on the edge of the northern Plains, looking west, my back to the urban civilization of the East and Europe. When I left for Oregon in 1967 to get an MFA in creative writing, to San Francisco in 1969, then to UC Berkeley, the world seemed new-polished and magical. Those were good years to be there.” Brownson was an academic librarian for 33 years, a career covering an entire period of technological change, from card catalogs to the digital library he created for the ASU Polytechnic campus. He has written nine novels, several dozen stories and short pieces. Some of this writing has been published commercially, but since the 1990s he has preferred to combine it with photography, drawing, and printing to produce handmade books for his imprint Ocotillo Arts. Some are sold as e-books while others can be read online on his website http://ocotilloarts.com Since retiring, Brownson has continued to write and make books, founded the journal Emeritus Voices and written a book on the history and theory of the detective story.