Friday, May 6, 2011
The Readers' Writers - 52nd Edition
But for a column dedicated to authors and the readers who enjoy them to happen requires a lot of people behind the scenes. Eric Petermann, former editor of the (Freeport) Journal-Standard, first took interest in the concept of interviewing writers, not just doing book reviews. I'd wanted a way to thank authors Sam Reaves and Barbara Sheridan for their mentoring of my story writing. Eric saw potential for a continuing article, and quick as that The Readers' Writers was born.
GateHouse News Service liked what they saw, and a twice-a-month column became a weekly.
Jane Lethlean and Bethany Strunk now spearhead the nuts and bolts of ensuring timely publication, as well as keeping me in line – not always an easy job.
Then, of course, are the authors themselves. Wouldn't be much of a column if there wasn't anyone to interview. Fortunately, the majority of published authors and their agents and publicists (we can't forget those folks) are some of the kindest, warmest people you could spend time with. They really are, and over the last year we've badgered, I mean harangued, uhm… interviewed… fifty-one of them.
From Adrian Dodson, author of one book, to Robert J. Sawyer, one of the most award-winning authors ever, to Charlaine Harris, one of the most recognized authors of our time, writers have availed themselves to us in order to be introduced to you, the readers.
Yes. Basically, I'm just the middleman, the literary maitre d' providing you the best seat possible to a day in the life of our favorite writers. And I thank all of you, readers, writers, and newspaper staff across the country, for the opportunity.
So, what to do, who to interview for this particular edition?
One writer, nearly unknown, yet read weekly from coast-to-coast, hinted that he might be willing to consent. He's a bit of a grouch, hard to live with, and very stubborn. Still, for whatever reason, my wife's remained married to him for sixteen years. Apparently she likes long-term challenges.
His name's KevaD, though we know him better as David "DA" Kentner.
A former army medic, EOD specialist, police officer and police chief, auctioneer, furniture restorer, and antiques dealer, KevaD clearly can't hold a job. But he loves to write – about anything. When not at the keyboard, shoveling snow or mowing their five acres outside Freeport, IL, he's trying to explain to his wife SOAPnet and the Game network aren't the only channels on TV, and that pizza really is a required food group.
Q) "Sunday Awakening" isn't quite like other romantic suspense novels. Where did that story come from?
A) "Sunday Awakening" originated from a news story about a young woman kidnapped at an early age and discovered alive years later. At the same time, documentaries investigating sexual slavery were being aired on TV. I wondered what a contemporary woman raised in bondage would do, what obstacles she would be willing to risk her life to overcome, in order to find the family she's never known, and the life she never had.
My character Cheryl needed a man as strong and courageous as she is, and willing to give his life without hesitation in order to gain her trust – and she doesn't trust easily. Taylor Hughes was as necessary as oxygen, because, in the end, home really is where the heart is, and Cheryl deserved only the finest of hearts to call home.
Q) Where did the name "KevaD" come from?
A) I'd been writing and unsuccessfully submitting novels to agents and publishers for two years. Then I was welcomed into ERAuthors, a writers' critiquing group comprised of new, seasoned, and a couple of bestselling authors. Those folks explained I had a lot to learn. I was a willing student.
I critiqued a chapter for gay fiction author Ash Penn. She asked if I'd ever considered writing gay fiction. I said, no. She said I should, as she was impressed with what I'd suggested. I laughed. Ash insisted. I gulped.
My gay romantic comedy "Out of the Closet" became my first published novella, and continues to be my best selling story. Since I'd taken a step I'd never envisioned, I selected a pen name I felt appropriate – KevaD – Dave K through the looking glass.
Q) I hear you just won a national writing competition.
A) Yes, I did. Thanks for mentioning it.
My short story "The Caretaker" took 1st Place in Calliope magazine's (A Publication of The Writers' Specialized Interest Group (SIG) of American Mensa, Ltd.) 18th annual short fiction contest. The story will appear in their Summer Edition sometime after June.
I hope folks will take the time to read it. I'm obviously pretty proud of that story.