A third-generation Californian, Eric Peterson attended the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and completed his Communication degree at Stanford. In college, he worked for Amtrak, getting a glimpse into the rarified world of travel via private railcar, and seeing a few impressive parties on the cars' open platforms. Peterson realized his dream of becoming a novelist in 2009, after years spent working for a venture partnership, founding a software company, and running a fine-dining restaurant. His debut novel, "Life as a Sandwich," was a finalist in the San Diego Book Awards. "The Dining Car" is his second novel.