More About the Author
After 89 Real Publishers rejected There Are No Electrons, I formed Clearwater Publishing Company to publish it myself. That was over twenty years ago; the book has sold about 100,000 copies and continues to sell well. Thank you to everyone who has bought it.
Then I wrote two math books with Jim Loats, Ph.D.- Algebra Unplugged and Calculus for Cats. I also published my humorous novel, The Land of Debris and the Home of Alfredo. In answer to the hordes of people who ask me, hey, Kenn, how can I write better myself so I can live your cushy lifestyle, I published Joy Writing: Discover and Develop Your Creative Voice. Although, I must point out that "cushy" isn't the first word that springs into most folks' minds to describe my lifestyle, especially people to whom I am married. But I do enjoy writing and that book describes my own philosophy about it.
While I was driving into the mountains, a voice whispered this sentence into my ear: "Some people say I ain't smart enough to have did what I done." The imaginary voice cracked me up. I spend so much time trying to write better, the idea of writing a book that was, at best, grammatically inconsistent seemed liberating and fun, only I had no idea for a story. When I got home, I tried to write in that voice and the result, a few months later, was "Jumper and the Bones." It's a sweet and sometimes funny little novel. I released it as a Kindle book and have gotten some really great feedback. But don't buy it if bad grammar irritates you. That's just how Jumper talks. I had not thought about the market, but it turns out that some kids enjoy the book at least as much as adults.
When a friend became sick and lost the use of her legs, I started trying to learn about ALS and other neurological diseases. I became fascinated by the various theories about the causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, MS, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Disease. Some of the theories are bizarre, some make sense, some are receiving lots of attention and research money-- yet I'd never heard about them. I kept notes as I did my research and finally compiled the entire project into a little book called "Revenge of the Pond Scum." Some very impressive scientists have read it, given me great feedback (as well as suggestions that I've incorporated). It's an easy read if you're interested in biology. So far, I've only released this as a Kindle book and an E-pub book for the Nook reader.
Over the last couple of years I started blogging, because everyone says authors "need" to blog. Once a week or so I write about my tropical fish, or politics, or gardening. Sometimes I chat about writing or promoting books. Sometimes the entire post is one of my poems. My blog is called "The Wordguise Alembic;" predictably, I put together a collection of sixty or so blogs into a kindle book called "The Wordguise Alembic Volume One." Besides blogs and poems, it contains lengthy excerpts from each of my other published books, as well as chapters from two of my books in progress. It's an easy way to sample them all and choose which one you might like to read all the way through. It's now time to assemble Volume Two.
My little publishing venture has led me to meet many interesting folks, from famous guys like Dave Barry and Clive Cussler to folks as obscure as myself. I've gotten neat letters from Ray Bradbury, Tom Robbins and a host of others, as well as from prisoners, folks in the White House, students and hopeful writers of all kinds. Writing introduced me to my tribe, and it's a cool bunch of people. I've had some fun surprises, as well. Famed inventor Dean Kamen was asked on the radio about his favorite books and he mentioned Calculus for Cats at some length. I discovered that Encyclopedia Britannica had recommended one of my math books. Once, at a bluegrass festival five hundred miles from home I saw someone in the audience reading Algebra Unplugged. I had to show them my driver's license to convince them I was one of the authors. At a lunch for local writers, I introduced myself to a guy whose eyes got wide as he shook my hand. "I've HEARD of you!" he said in astonishment. I do not, apparently, look like a guy someone might have heard of.
I also write songs and play guitar. I've performed on a few CD's and set my coffee cup down on even more. I was in the acoustic group "Cottonwood" for ten years or so; we released two CD's. Each included a few of my originals. My next musical project will be a CD of some 200 year old Irish folk songs that vanished from the earth until one of my sons gave me a book published in 1808 and I figured them out. I spent weeks researching each song and its creator; those stories are as interesting as the songs themselves. I might consider making it a kickstarter project. Once I get that project out the door, I'll probably get more serious about trying to record and release more of my own originals.
I like to garden, and when the harvest isn't so impressive, I let the plants go to seed, collect the seed, and try to convince my wife that's what I was going for all along. I harvest peaches from a half dozen trees I raised from seeds. I've recently gotten fascinated with growing mushrooms and have jars of mycelium lurking all around my office. I also make wine and soap and buttermilk, which is fun as long as you remember which one you're doing at any given time. I'm a defensive mechanic who will try to fix the problem that has stranded me at the side of the road for a long time before I call someone who knows what he's doing. Similarly, I will repair my own plumbing until my clothes are just too soaked, and will wire a light switch when asked to do so. I am rarely asked.
I've been married to my beautiful and very patient high school sweetheart for over 40 years now. We have three grown sons, a couple of cats, a bunch of guppies, and some banana slugs in a terrarium. I've been involved with a number of book-related non profits in Colorado, and served on the board of directors for a few. I've written a half dozen unpublished novels and may release another one or two (at least as Kindle books) just to see how that goes. But if you're listening, and your name is "Random House" I'd sure be willing to let you have a chance at them first.