10 Oct 2019, 5:14am
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Comments Off on Kate’s 2¢: “Dean Koontz, A writer’s Biography” by Katherine Ramsland

Kate’s 2¢: “Dean Koontz, A writer’s Biography” by Katherine Ramsland

“Dean Koontz, A writer’s Biography” by Katherine Ramsland

Kate’s 2¢: There is a plethora of in-depth biographies of authors and reviews of their books, that state the title, author, published date, and genre; as well as,     describing what the book is about, setting, and character(s), so, Kate’s 2¢ merely shares my thoughts about what I read.  I’m just saying…

 

Once I’d read Koontz’s Jane Hawk series, I was curious about the author. This book is extensive and thorough to the nth degree; however, it didn’t include his blood type or DNA sequence. lol

I was interested in his childhood and adult life, but, also in the process of writing, business protocol, and ultimate success.

Surely, you’ve heard that behind every successful man is a woman.  Gerta is the woman behind or, at least, standing by her man. Early on, she offered to be the sole provider for five years, while he made it in the writing and publishing world…or not. He rewarded her trust in his talent and are sitting in a mansion in Newport Beach, CA.

I empathized with his plights of other writers plagiarizing his stories. Early on, in my writing career, the Rochester Area Childrens Writers and Illustrators (RACWI) invited Kent Brown to visit our group. He talked with me,  took my manuscript, saying he was very interested in it. I waited many weeks. Experienced RACWI members encouraged me to contact him and ask about my manuscript. Twice I did that and each time, I was told the editors were discussing it. Then, members who had friends in the Buffalo writers group brought to my attention that an author in Kent Brown’s stable, was having a story published that was mine!  In her version, the very young blind child was walking with a guide dog in harness.    I wrote to tell him that, at that time, children under 16 were not issued trained guide dogs and he should not present false hope to these children. The story was published, but, they changed the ending to have the child running in a meadow.  Hello! How does a blind child run through a meadow without a guide? Obviously, that author and publisher didn’t do their due diligence.

Well, that experience of having my first story stolen, colored the rest of my career. I’ve been loath to share my stories with anyone. I was too inexperienced and naïve to have considered sueing for copyright infringements, as Koontz was able to do.

In the late 60’s, sometimes the anger in his stories was aimed at God…The themes of his novels echoed much of what science-fiction was doing at the time: Examining categories of personhood, promote the bonding of separate species, and renouncing the rigidity of ignorance…from within the same source, comes the potential for benefit and harm.

As the new wave writers of science-fiction viewed Koontz as the old guy, he began to appreciate the suspense genre, especially, that of John D. McDonald. He Straddled traditional and new wave attitudes…Told in a linear manner  with an unusual hero.

He thought that eventually, A science fiction that is molded from the best of the stylistic principles  from main stream and the best from  the story-telling concepts of science fiction would emerge.

I dislike using pseudonyms; however, Koontz stated he often used multiple pseudonyms so that he could experiment with different genres without sullying the reputation he’d built-up with previous stories. His pseudonyms are Aaron Wolfe, Brian Coffey, David Axton, Deanna Dwyer, John Hill, K.R. Dwyer, Leigh Nichols, Anthony North, Owen West, Richard Paige. When his income was sufficient, he began to buy back the copyrights to the books under his pseudonym and re-issue the pieces under his own name. Lewis Carroll,author of “Alice’s adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the looking glass, and what Alice found there”, used this pseudonym because he didn’t want people to associate him with the fantasy stories he wrote to entertain young Alice with the scholarly tomes of mathematics he wrote as an Oxford don, a mathematics instructor, and a master of wordplay.

I like the way Ramsland wrote this biography in chronological order adding in historical references to set the time and flavor of the culture. This was also my contemporary milieu, but I wasn’t aware of all that was happening as it happened.

While this biography is quite long, it is well worth the time for enjoyment and to parse the workings of a very prolific author…and to think, Dean Koontz is only 11 days older than I am.

 

From NLS/BARD/LOC:

Dean Koontz: a writer’s biography DB48324

Ramsland, Katherine M. Reading time: 19 hours, 28 minutes.

Read by Bob Askey.

 

Biography of Writers

 

Describes how Koontz, born in 1945, endured a troubled childhood, married, taught briefly while writing books in various genres, and then began producing his string of bestselling suspense novels that include Fear Nothing (DB 45719) and The Eyes of Darkness (DB 42555). Includes chronologies of his work and life.

 

Lewis Carroll: a biography DB42220

Cohen, Morton Norton. Reading time: 21 hours, 48 minutes.

Read by John Horton.

 

Literature

 

Literary biography of Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ; and, Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There (DB 50842). Cohen provides insights to the enigmatic Victorian writer based on thirty years of studying Carroll and analysis of his diaries and letters. Carroll was an Oxford don, a mathematics instructor, and a master of wordplay. He was also friend to many young girls, including the real Alice.

3 Oct 2019, 6:18am
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Comments Off on Kate’s 2¢: Witucki, Kristen “Outside Myself”

Kate’s 2¢: Witucki, Kristen “Outside Myself”

Kate’s 2¢: Witucki, Kristen “Outside Myself”

 

Kate’s 2¢: There is a plethora of in-depth biographies of authors and reviews of their books, that state the title, author, published date, and genre; as well as,     describing what the book is about, setting, and character(s), so, Kate’s 2¢ merely shares my thoughts about what I read.

 

Author Kristen Witucki was on the tele-conference with members of Behind Our Eyes/Written Word Party-Line on July 21, 2019. to discuss her books. She discussed development of characters and specifically whether these same novels would have worked if set in a later time. Kristen told us about some other writers she enjoyed and how they influenced her reluctant choice to write about blindness

The story is semi-auto-biographical, which explains how she’s gained insight into the issues at hand. During the interview, she mentioned that her husband had taken the older children out, leaving her with an infant to keep content as she continued chatting.

I enjoyed “Outside Myself”, but, the library system is different now-a-days and the relationship might be misconstrued by today’s cultural standards.

 

from her web-site:

Kristen been totally blind since birth. She was raised in New Jersey. She earned a BA in English from Vassar College in 2004 with a minor in German and certification to teach students in grades 7-12. She followed it with three Masters degrees: an MA in teaching gifted students from Teachers College, Columbia University, (2006); an MFA in the creative writing of fiction from Sarah Lawrence College, (2008); and an Ed.M in teaching students who are blind or visually impaired from Dominican College, (2011). While in school, she earned her living at Learning Ally, where she helped people with visual impairments, dyslexia and other disabilities to access technology related to reading audio books.

The Transcriber is Kristen’s first published book of fiction. Her nonfiction has appeared at the Huffington Post, the Momoir Project, Literary Mama and Brain, Child.

Kristen is working on a project for Learning Ally which will help college students who are blind or visually impaired. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons (now three children).

 

From NLAS/BARD/LOC:

Outside myself DB91111

Witucki, Kristen. Reading time: 7 hours, 43 minutes.

Read by Jennifer Hubbard.

 

Disability

Human Relations

Young Adult

 

When Tallie, a girl struggling to adjust to her blindness, calls Adult Reader Services at a library for the blind, she connects with Benjamin, an older man working in customer service. The two bond over the phone and create a special relationship. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2018.

 
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