Braden Hepner grew up in Cache Valley, Utah, near the Idaho border. His grandfather owned a small dairy farm, where he worked during childhood and adolescence. He took a job in general construction at the age of 15, and at 16 joined a masonry crew and tended hod for 2-3 years before learning how to lay brick–a trade he later practiced independently near the end of his undergraduate days in Idaho. Upon returning from an LDS mission, he enrolled in college, where he met his wife, Elizabeth. In 2007 he moved to Iowa City to attend the Writers’ Workshop.
He lives now with his wife and two sons in Idaho.