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Blank Slate Press, now an imprint of Amphorae Publishing Group, has had a banner year! We’ve published some amazing books and you’ll be hearing more about them as we do our best to keep this blog more up to date and active. Plus, there’s more exciting news coming in 2016, too! In 2015, we published:

And our first title for 2016 is coming out in February. THE WRECKING CREW  is an exciting thriller in the tradition of Clive Cussler and James Rollins written by, by Taylor Zajonc, a terrific new writer whose life off the page is almost as exciting as his characters’! Click here for an interview with Taylor.

 

We’ve Merged!

 

Blank Slate Press, Walrus Publishing, and Treehouse Publishing Group have joined forces!

We’re excited to announce our three publishing companies have merged to create Amphorae Publishing Group, and we’re looking forward to bringing you a growing library of great books, including our existing line up of exciting titles, many of which are award-winners. Our three imprints are currently accepting submissions, and we’re eager to discover the next new breakout author.

  • Blank Slate Press is looking for historical fiction, crime/mystery, commercial fiction, and literary fiction.
  • Walrus Publishing is looking for science fiction/fantasy, romance, regional fiction and non-fiction, and humor.
  • Treehouse is our children’s imprint publishing picture books, middle grade, and YA fiction and non-fiction. To submit to Treehouse (the website is under construction), email Donna Essner directly.

You can download our entire 2015 Amphorae Catalog.

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And we’re starting out 2015 with some terrific and award-winning titles including:

    First Place Winner, Humor category at the 25th Midwest Independent Publishing Association.

The antics of Patrick Cantwell and his family, featured in the award-winning Never Hug a Nun,  return as they head to Grand Haven,   Michigan for summer vacation.

kevinkilleen.com

ISBN: 978-0985808600 – paperback
ISBN: 978-0985808655 – ebook

 

 

 

 

      2015, Winner, Silver Medal, Regional Fiction (North-East), Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs) from Independent Publisher.

Caroline Marcum thought she’d escaped the great mistake of her life by leaving Wellfleet harbor, but is forced to face it when she returns,       reluctantly, to care for her dying mother.

lynnehugo.com

ISBN: 978-0985808617 – paperback
ISBN: 978-0985808624 – ebook

 

 

And we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve taken on the 2nd Edition of PAINTING FOR PEACE IN FERGUSON. The new edition will have more art and a more comprehensive list of the artists and community members who made the Paint for Peace project so successful.
      Awarded the 2015 IPPY for Outstanding Book of the Year & Gold Medal in the Peacemaker category!

      paintingforpeacebook.com

      Through poetry and art, PAINTING FOR PEACE IN FERGUSON tells the story of hundreds of artists and volunteers who turned                      boarded up windows into works of art with messages of hope, healing and unity in the aftermath of the Ferguson, MO riots.

      ISBN: 978-0-9892079-9-7 – paperback | ISBN: 978-0-9963901-0-1 – hardback

And THIS OLD WORLD is a finalist for the M.M. Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction. Learn more about Steve Wiegenstein and the award here.

After the war, James Turner and the other men of Daybreak return home to find that war has changed their Utopian community forever. Charlotte Turner, Marie Mercadier and the other women they left behind survived raiders and bushwackers, raised up children, and survived on little more than dogged determination. Now that the men are back-those who fought for the North and those who fought for the South-the community must somehow put the past behind them. But some carry scars too deep to heal, and others carry hate they have no intention of letting go.

ISBN: 978-0985808631 – paperback
ISBN: 978-0985808648 – ebook

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We have some more big news here at Blank Slate Press! In addition to welcoming two new authors to the fold, Lynne Hugo and Deborah Lincoln, we’re also preparing to launch two new books from two tried and tested Blank Slate Press authors. The sequel to Kevin Killeen’s smash debut Never Hug A Nun is slated for release in July of 2014, and the second installment Steve Weigenstein’s timeless historical novel Slant Of Light will be released in September. As always, we’re incredibly excited about both novels, and we can’t wait to introduce them to the public. Now there’s not just warm weather and green trees to look forward to in the summer: there’s two more great books coming out from BSP.

Try to Kiss a Girl It’s July, 1969 and the Apollo Eleven astronauts are hurtling toward the moon, and somewhere down below,  two eleven-year old boys who meet on vacation launch their own mission — to try to kiss a girl before the week is over. Try to  Kiss a Girl is the title for the sequel to Killeen’s hilarious and heartwarming story of the misadventures of seven-year-old Patrick Cantwell. Here’s a snapshot of what’s in store for Patrick and his readers:

It’s a hot week in the Michigan resort town of Grand Haven, where Patrick Cantwell — the juvenile delinquent from Never Hug a Nun meets a new friend who reveals to him the secret of the ages… where babies come from. 

Astonished and ashamed that he has overlooked this hidden activity at work throughout history, an activity which apparently even Abraham Lincoln knew about, Patrick wonders what else he has missed and decides he needs to open his eyes and start living.

Shaking hands with his new friend Rex on a five-dollar bet, Patrick rockets into high orbit to try to be the first to kiss a girl before their vacation is over.

But it’s not that easy.  There’s Mr. Jawthorne, the protective father of the kissable, young Tammy and her ChapStick-loving friend Ginny.  There’s a biker just back from Vietnam on a road trip to no longer be a killer who meets two boys in Grand Haven he’d just love to kill.  And there’s Patrick’s big Catholic family whose puzzle nights, dirty diapers and warnings about sin and death threaten to cost Patrick five bucks.

Try to Kiss a Girl is Kodak snapshot of the station wagon era, when the simulated wood grain was unfaded, and parents were young and a cooler full of orange soda and WonderBread sandwiches prevented back seat anarchy.  Well, most of the time.

Up ahead — beyond the Burger Chefs, the Sinclair Dinosaurs and Stuckey’s – was a rental cottage with crooked floors and a lake view, a land of relaxed adult supervision and freedom.  A place where an eleven-year old boy could body surf on a red flag day, ignore thoughts of the approaching school year, work on his pinball game at the Khardomah Lodge and try to figure out someway, somehow… to kiss a girl.

This uproarious tale makes a great companion to the first, and Killeen’s laugh-out-loud prose will ensure that everyone else at the beach gives you plenty of funny looks while you read.


This Old World is the second installment in Steve Weigenstein’s historical series Daybreak. The sequel to the award-winning debut, Slant of Light,  follows the development of the utopian colony Daybreak, as James Turner and his wife Charlotte struggle to lead a group of people with noble ambitions but very human flaws.

Weigenstein resumes the story in the aftermath of the Civil War, which nearly tore the colony apart. Turner, along with the other men who survived, return to Daybreak. But unfinished business comes back to haunt them all and they discover that the wounds of war do not easily heal. Now the colony faces the same challenges as the nation at large: How to rebuild in the face of such devastation? Can the innocence and idealism that was lost ever be recovered?

The cover isn’t finalized, but we thought we’d give you a peek at where we’re going with it. What do you think?

working cover for This Old World by Steve Wiegenstein

(Originally posted on Kevin Killeen’s blog: http://kevinkilleen.com)

With 80 percent of all books in America purchased by women, this vital demographic is weighing in on a novel featuring grade school boys in trouble.

One female reviewer objected to the tale of boys constantly peeing on bushes and running amok while they’re moms are home baking cookies.

Another reviewer, “Simply Stacie,” reports the story stirred her to root for the main character “like I was his mother.”  She also says she “couldn’t put it down,” anxious to find out how it would end for her young hero.

http://www.simplystacie.net/2012/12/never-hug-nun/

Meanwhile, parish moms in the vicinity where the book takes place have pulled the author aside with their heads shaking to ask, “Did you really do all this stuff?”

It was the 1960s, after all, and there were fewer rules, no cell phones, and boys were only expected to “be home for dinner.

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OBSERVATIONS ON KEVIN’S DEC. 8th BOOK SIGNING

They filed past the book signing table like well-wishers filing past the casket.

Hundreds of friends, relatives and sympathetic strangers turned out for a series of events marking the release of Never Hug a Nun.

Kind people, many of whom left dishes in the sink, ventured out to get a copy of the novel at Charlie Brennan’s Fontbonne Book of the Month Club taping Nov 27, at the KMOX Holiday Radio Show Dec 3, and at the Webster Groves Book Shop Dec 8.

Many of the men whispered confessions of their own delinquent past as they purchased the book, then hid it under arm and hurried to their car.  Most touching was the procession of parish mothers, some of whom remember the author as a “troubled student,” purchasing two or three copies to impress upon their grand children the dangers of going the wrong way.

At the Webster Groves Book Shop, owner Ann Foy put out a small dish of lightly-salted peanuts for customers to enjoy during this cough and flu season.  Foy awarded the prize to a couple who had driven the farthest — all the way from Belleville, Illinois — a free pencil marked “Webster Groves Book Shop.”

When the day was done, almost a hundred copies of the book had been sold.

“That’s pretty good,” Foy said.

Killeen thanked the management, then walked home in a cold, overcast mist.  Feeling a little queezey from all the attention, and the expired Gatorade he drank,  Killeen watched with interest as a red fire engine with sirens blaring rifled down Main Street.

His first thought was that if life were a novel, he would arrive home to find his own house had burned down from the Christmas tree he left on.   But it turned out to be some distant, unknown calamity affecting someone else.

“God help those who are in trouble,” he mumbled — a prayer the nuns had forced the students to say whenever they heard sirens. NHAN - table top sign - v 3-1

At home he found his family was all gone, except his 15-year old son Jack playing a soldier video game.  The last video game the author played was an Atari space invaders game in the 1970s.  The space invaders always won.

He sat down in a chair listening to the machine gun fire from the TV in the next room, and wondered what all the people who bought the book would think about it after they read it.

Killeen is scheduled to do a reading from the book and sign more copies at the newly-rennovated Central Library on Olive Street in Downtown St. Louis on Tuesday, Dec 11 at 6:30 p.m..

The book is available at the Webster Groves Book Shop, Left Bank Books, Subterranean Books, Amazon.com, and soon at St. Louis area Barnes & Noble locations.

It was a big day for Kevin Killeen. He was interviewed today on the KSDK Channel 5 Noon Show … AND featured in the Webster-Kirkwood Times: Growing Up In Webster … Kevin Killeen Style.

Check out the links and the head over to your local independent bookstore and pick up your copy of NEVER HUG A NUN. (The book will be available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble soon. In the meantime, you can also order it from us directly: http://blankslatepress.com/how-to-buy/.

 

 

 

 

 

It was a packed house last night for the KMOX-Fontbonne Book Club hosted by Charlie Brennan featuring Kevin Killeen and musician John Pizzarelli, author of World on a String: a musical memoir. Both Kevin and John were entertaining speakers and happily stayed after to meet readers and sign books. And Kevin graciously gave a shout-out to Jean Ellen Whatley and her book, OFF THE LEASH, and a gave a great plug for Blank Slate Press and our mission.

And I want to extend a HUGE thank you to Left Bank Books for doing such a great job on handling the book sales.

I would also like to say a word about best laid plans and the perils of proofreading in a hurry.

The best laid plans are that every project we undertake is completed without a hitch. Well…we worked like frenzied people to get NEVER HUG A NUN ready for all the holiday events and book promotional activities, and, as it often turns out when people work in a hurry, we let a few typos slip through uncorrected. I feel absolutely horrible and awful and terrible (etc.!) about it, and, as Kevin so elegantly puts it, we feel like we’ve shown up to a fancy dinner party with mustard on our shirts.

So what? Everyone makes mistakes, right?  I can rationalize it away and say that I can’t pick up any book, even by a Bix Six publisher, without finding typos. But that’s just lazy thinking. And one thing a small press publisher cannot be (and survive through the day) is lazy.

We’ve submitted corrected files to the printer and the next print run will have the problems fixed. But, in the meantime, we’d like to make it right with our readers. If you’ve purchased a copy with errors in it, please send me an e-mail (kbmakansi @ blankslatepress.com) and I will send you a COMPLIMENTARY PDF OF THE BLANK SLATE PRESS BOOK OF YOUR CHOICE: Dancing with Gravity, Slant of Light, Off the Leash, Never Hug a Nun, or the novella Driving Alone. 

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Kevin Killeen - KMOX-Fontbonne Book Club - 11.27.12
Kevin Killeen - KMOX-Fontbonne Book Club - 11.27.12
Kevin Killeen - KMOX-Fontbonne Book Club - 11.27.12
Kevin Killeen - KMOX-Fontbonne Book Club - 11.27.12
Kevin Killeen - KMOX-Fontbonne Book Club - 11.27.12
Kevin Killeen - KMOX-Fontbonne Book Club - 11.27.12
Kevin Killeen - KMOX-Fontbonne Book Club - 11.27.12
Kevin Killeen - KMOX-Fontbonne Book Club - 11.27.12

 

We’re delighted to report that we’ve got a lot going on in the next couple of weeks. First, as described in our last blog post, we’re excited to participate in the Saint Louis Literary Consortium’s 2012 Holiday Book Signing at Left Bank Books on November 9, 10, 11th. We hope everyone in STL will come out and support a great independent bookstore, wonderful literary organizations, publishers and, of course, local and regional authors.

BSP authors Steve Wiegenstein (SLANT OF LIGHT) and Jean Ellen Whatley (OFF THE LEASH) will be in store to sign their books. Jean will be signing from 6 – 8 pm Friday evening, and Steve will be signing from 12 – 2pm on Saturday. This is the perfect opportunity to buy the best gift of all–BOOKS–for everyone on your holiday list! And, even though NEVER HUG A NUN and DRIVING ALONE won’t be available for in-store purchase yet, you can pre-order your copies at the register.

Next, we’ve got another wonderful event coming up for OFF THE LEASH

 Blank Slate Press author Jean Ellen Whatley, Subterranean Books, and the Human Society of Missouri are coming together to do a book signing and to promote pet adoption. A portion of all sales will go to support HSMO’s mission. Jean will have a great slideshow and talk about how her dog, Libby, inspired her to go on a cross-country journey to rejuvenate, reenergize, and reclaim her life. Libby accompanied her every step along the way and their already strong bond became even stronger. It’s amazing how much we love our dogs!

So, if you love your dog, if your dog inspires you with his/her love and devotion, plan on joining Jean and supporting the HSMO.
>> when: November 18, 1:00 pm
>>where: 1201 Macklind Avenue | St. Louis, MO 63110 | phone: (314) 647-8800
>> Here’s a blurb from  from the Riverfront Times about her last event at Subterranean Books. And a clip in which she talks about the importance of Libby in her life and on her journey.

And the buzz is building for Kevin Killeen’s NEVER HUG A NUN

We’ve got a number of events on the schedule to make sure you can get a copy of NEVER HUG A NUN for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or Yuletide, no matter what holiday(s) you celebrate, you’ll want a copy of this delightful book that celebrates the innocent mischievousness of being a kid.

>> KMOX Fontbonne Book of the Month Club with Charlie Brennan
> Tuesday, November, 27
> 7 to-9 p.m. at Nerinx Hall in Webster Groves
>  Featuring Kevin Killeen and musician John Pizzarelli, author of World on a String: a musical memoir
> Charlie Brennan will interview Kevin on KMOX on November 14th

>> KMOX Holiday Radio Show
> Monday, December 3
> The Rep on the Webster University Campus, Webster Groves
>  Featuring Kevin Killeen and the whole on-air KMOX crew

>> Booksigning at Webster Groves Bookshop
> Saturday, December 8 , 1-4
> 100 West Lockwood Avenue,  (314) 968-1185

>> Reading at the Newly Remodeled Central Library
> Tuesday, December 11 at 6:30 p.m., Carnegie Room (3rd Floor)
> 1301 Olive St., downtown – (314) 206-6779.

 

It’s been a while since we’ve done a comprehensive update on what’s going on at Blank Slate Press, so we’ve got lots of big news and exciting events coming up. First up:
Blank Slate Press has joined forces with several other organizations and small presses to form the Saint Louis Literary Consortium. Our first collaboration is a book signing holiday promotional event at Left Bank Books in the Central West End the weekend of November 9, 10, & 11th. Along with featured Blank Slate authors Steve Wiegenstein and Jean Ellen Whatley, authors from the St. Louis Poetry Center and the St. Louis Writers Guild will also be on hand. Other publishers participating in the Consortium and the event include Penultimate Press, Stonebrook Publishing, and Walrus Publishing. For more information, contact Left Bank Books at (314) 367-6731.
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Also, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve joined the Small Press United/ Independent Publishers Group team and that all our books will now be distributed through SPU/IPG. This is big news for a small press like BSP, and we’re very excited about the opportunities ahead.
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Jean Ellen Whatley’s Book Launch @ Subterranean

October 29th, 7-8 pm, 314.862.6100

We’re delighted to announce that Subterranean Books in The Loop will host former KDNL/ABC-30 on-air personality Jean Ellen Whatley’s launch for her debut memoir, OFF THE LEASH. The event will held on Monday, October 29th from 7:00 – 8:00 pm. Call 314.862.6100 or visit www.subbooks.com for info or let us know you’re coming  on our Facebook event page.

Here’s the back flap description of the book:

From sea to shining sea and then some, Jean Ellen Whatley and her dog Libby set out from Saint Louis to drive nearly 9,000 miles across America to revive her life. But she’s got enough baggage to bottom out a truck: her ex-husband got out of prison just as she was getting the last kid through college, her mother and two brothers died inside a few years and she’s got another brother who she has never seen but needs to find.

With a family history of secrets and betrayals, addiction and abuse, survivor solidarity and abiding love, our unlikely heroine wrestles her life to the ground and hogties it as she frees herself from the traps of the past. What unfolds on this odyssey is nothing short of life-changing-aided and abetted by strangers on the highway, long-lost family members, cosmic playing cards and the ever-present comfort of Libby who reminds her to live in the moment.

Listen to her interview with St. Louis On the Air’s Don Marsh here. 

Jean is also going to be featured on McGraw Milhaven’s show on KTRS-AM, The Big 550 on Thursday, October 25th in the 9:00 to 10:00 segment.

Want to know more about Jean and her incredible journey? Check out her blog and watch her trailer here.

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NEVER HUG A NUN goes to press & you’re going to want to buy copies for everyone on your Christmas list!

Our official launch for Kevin Killeen’s comic novel of boy hood antics in 1960s Webster Groves will be December 8 at the Webster Groves Bookshop, and you can preorder your copy now. Call the bookstore at (314) 968-1185 to reserve your copy for the December 8th signing, or preorder online at Blank Slate Press. The book should be available in time for Christmas.

Kevin’s book will also be featured at Charlie Brennan’s (KMOX) November Book Club and will be available at the KMOX Annual Holiday Show. We’ll send out an update with specific dates & times. In the meantime, Check out Kevin’s blog and see how he feels about his “baby” going to press. Hint…it’s funny.

We’re also delighted to have a couple of wonderful endorsements for the book:

“If Webster Groves were Hannibal, Patrick would be Tom, Ebby would be Becky, and the tracks would be the river. How often does a radio guy make you think of Mark Twain? Kevin remembers what it was like to be a kid. This is fun stuff and would be great for book clubs.” – Bill McClellan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Kevin Killeen’s utterly winning novel gives us the human comedy in full measure. Blessed with a genuine comic gift, Killeen manages to write with both hilarity and humanity. The book is a buoyant delight from beginning to end.” – David Carkeet, author of The Full Catastrophe

 “An engaging, funny, adventurous, warm and very nostalgic read. This is a book about memories, and why they never leave our hearts.” – Harry Hamm, KMOX Radio Entertainment Editor

 

Want to know more? Here’s the NEVER HUG A NUN back flap description:  

Fom falling for a girl with no-good-for-sports stick arms and beautiful penmanship, to jumping freight trains, smoking cigarettes, projectile vomiting, robbing the local Ben Franklin–and, in his spare time, trying to get to heaven–Patrick Cantwell is learning all about life at Mary Queen of Our Hearts parochial school. By the time Patrick graduates second grade, he’s practically a grown-up, complete with a broken heart, a police record, and memories of the Beatles at Busch Stadium.

Written with the same keen sense of comic timing Killeen brings to radio station KMOX’s “A Whole ‘nother Story” and the annual Holiday Radio Show, Never Hug a Nun is a sweet, laugh-out-loud look at the innocence of childhood in the leafy Webster Groves suburb of 1960s Saint Louis.

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Know someone who loves the heat and grit of hard-edged southern gothic? DRIVING ALONE is the perfect holiday gift.

Preorder a copy for everyone on your holiday shopping list who loves a great love story wrapped in the sweltering heat of the damned. DRIVING ALONE is beautiful and not a little disturbing.

Here’s what early readers had to say:

“Driving Alone is a gorgeously grim new take on redemption and romance. It is unsettling and provocative, combining the classic romance of the open road with the claustrophobia of a morality play. If Hell is other people, Driving Alone has the devil riding shotgun.” - Jared Shurin, reviewer for Pornokitsch, director & literary judge of The Kitschies

“Hardboiled, hardbitten and haunting as well as lyrically libidinous and lovingly lascivious, Kevin Lynn Helmick tackles sex and death along the lost highway the way the damned do–alone.” – Jedidiah Ayres, author of A F*ckload of Shorts

“An intense nightmare that shimmers with beauty and darkness. Helmick broils these characters in southern humidity and human tragedy until the reader is left sweating, breathless, and amazed.” – Fred Venturini, author of The Samaritan

Here’s the back flap description:

Billy Keyhoe’s luck just ran out. After beating his girl to a bloody pulp and being shot at by the clerk of Earl’s ’66, Billy takes off in his Daddy’s beat-up 66 Caddy toward West Texas, leaving Waycross, Georgia and all his troubles in the rear-view mirror. At a crossroads, he picks up a beautiful hitchhiker who seems to know more about Billy than he knows himself. The farther they go, the more Billy is drawn to Feather until he realizes he has “fallen in love somewhere out there in the night, with something or someone, or just an idea, it wasn’t clear.” But unfortunately for Billy, he discovers that even true love cannot save him, and he finally realizes he might have gone too far to ever make it back.

Preorder your copy today. 

Kevin maintains a blog at www.kevinlynnhelmick.blogspot.com.

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SoL Cover

Steve Wiegenstein makes it to the big leagues

Last but by no means least, Steve Wiegenstein’s debut novelSlant of Light continues to receive great reviews, and we’re delighted to announce that he has been invited to participate in the  Arkansas Literary Festival. We’re thrilled that Steve will be rubbing shoulders with so many amazing authors!

Besides the Left Bank book signing, he’s got several events coming up. If you’re in the neighborhood–and especially if you love historical fiction, Missouri fiction, and books about the Civil War–please stop by:

10/27 – signing at Main Street Books, St. Charles, 3-5 pm
11/13 – talk and signing, Daniel Boone Regional Library, Columbia, 7 pm

Get your copy of Slant of Light at your local independent bookstore, online at Amazon or B&N, or directly from us at  http://blankslatepress.com/how-to-buy/ .

We’re excited to announce that we have signed two new incredible authors to Blank Slate Press, Kevin Killeen and Kevin Helmick. See below for descriptions of the novels that made us want to be their publisher, as well as short bios for each author.

Kevin Killeen 

From falling for a girl with no-good-for-sports stick arms and beautiful penmanship, to jumping freight trains, smoking cigarettes, projectile vomiting, and accidentally robbing the local Ben Franklin, first grade at Mary Queen of Our Hearts parochial school changes everything for Patrick Cantwell. By the time Patrick graduates second grade, he’s practically a grown-up, complete with a police record and memories of the Beatles at Busch Stadium. Written in a style reminiscent of The Wonder Years and Bill Bryson’s The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, Never Hug a Nun is a sweet, laugh-out-loud look at the innocence of childhood in the leafy Webster Groves suburb of 1960s St. Louis.

A reporter with KMOX radio since 1995, Kevin Killeen has confused listeners for the past ten years with his regular morning feature, A Whole ‘nother Story. Killeen has also authored the KMOX Holiday Radio Show, an original comic play with a holiday theme, for the past 15 years or so. In Never Hug a Nun, Killeen attempts to escape his declining faculties, by casting his mind back to the days of his youth when he spent long summer days on the train tracks or hanging out at the Velvet Freeze and wishing he were a teenager.

A 1982 graduate of UMSL, Killeen studied fiction writing under comic novelist David Carkeet who corrupted him with thoughts of getting published some day. Married with four children, Killeen enjoys asking his kids — again — to please, pick up their shoes, moving the sprinkler around a dying lawn, and going to garage sales on Saturday with his mother.

Kevin’s blog will soon launch at www.kevinkilleen.com

Kevin Helmick

Billy Keyhoe is a loser whose luck just ran out. After beating his girlfriend to a bloody pulp and being shot at by the clerk of the convenience store he was trying to rob, Billy takes off in his Daddy’s beat-up 66 Caddy on a road trip from Waycross, GA toward West Texas. On the way, he picks up a beautiful hitchhiker who seems to know more about him than he knows himself. As the hitchhiker convinces him to turn around and head back home, he slowly realizes that his life is being judged and that he has to finally face up to his past.

Driving Alone is a gritty, Southern Gothic morality tale that reveals that the high cost of hard living is brutally hard dying.

Kevin Lynn Helmick’s other works include The Lost Creek Journal, Clovis Point, Sebastian Cross, and Heartland Gothic, was born in December, 1963, in Fort Madison IA, a few months after Kennedy was assassinated and a few months before the Beatles landed in America.

Growing up seven years younger than the youngest of four brothers, his views of the world were largely shaped by 60’s and 70’s pop culture; Elvis Presley, James Bond, Andy Warhol, comic books and of course the music of The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Doors. Hints of those influences can be seen in Driving Alone, Kevin’s fourth  novel.

Kevin maintains a blog at www.kevinlynnhelmick.blogspot.com.