Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Monday, September 12, 2016


CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter

Our daughter, Kathleen “Katie” Kennedy, was choosing an author photo for the jacket of her excellent YA book, Learning to Swear in America, published by Bloomsbury. She asked us to help her choose which photo among the many proofs should go on the book. Her mother chose # 32, because “It looks most like you.” Katie protested, “That’s not what we’re going for.”

What we’re going for, of course, any of us, is something that makes us look better than we are. I would guess that 50% of lies are spoken for that reason. The other 50% is to get or stay out of trouble.

The best way to stay out of trouble, of course, is not by lying, but by refraining from doing bad stuff. The best way to look good is not a better photo but by being helpful to others and doing good stuff.

I recently had to provide a jacket photo for my novel, VETS, about four homeless and handicapped veterans who are accused of murdering a VA doctor. I suggested they use a photo of Robert Redford. Much to my surprise and chagrin, they took it seriously, and explained all the legal ramifications, but suggested they could have an artist do a rendering that would look like Redford but not so much that we could be sued. I don’t know why that would be a problem. Redford always uses my photo.

I figure that letting Bob use my photo is part of my attempt to be helpful to others and do good stuff, and part of my refusal to do bad stuff, like lying.


I tweet as yooper1721.

Russian boy genius Yuri Strelnikov is a 17 year old with a PhD in Physics. The Americans recruit him when they discover an asteroid is blazing toward earth on a collision course with Los Angeles, where NASA has assembled the best and brightest to figure a way out of this deadly impact. Yuri has only a few days to work the math, find a solution, and then convince those much older to accept his anti-matter plan. He meets the quirky teen girl, Dovie, and her equally quirky family, and finds there are more reasons to save the earth than just winning a Nobel Prize.

So goes Katie Kennedy’s marvelous Learning to Swear in America, published by Bloomsbury, which also publishes lesser authors, like JK Rowling. It has received a rare star review from Publisher’s Weekly and another star review from BCCB [Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books]. It’s on B&N’s, Bustle’s, and PopCrush’s “Most Anticipated” list, and Goodreads “Best New for the Month” list. An IndieNext pick. Available in print, audio, German, and e-book, from your friendly independent book store, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc.

VETS {all CAPS} is also available from Amazon, B&N, etc. My royalties go to help prevent soldier suicide.

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