Ken Conklin, a native of Los Angeles, lives in Botetourt County in southwestern Virginia. His essays have been published in the Roanoke Times and other publications such as the Victoria Advocate, Easy Reader and Microwave Journal. Norvel is his first book. (Read BookTrib’s review here.)
Although always a writer, he made his living in the technology industry as a business development and general management executive. In those roles, he had the opportunity to travel throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Ken also served in the U.S. Army as a “boots on the ground” veteran of the Vietnam War.
Aside from working on his next book, Ken and his wife enjoy spending time with their family and friends, attending live music events, golfing and hiking the beautiful trails of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Ken continues, however, to root for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
To learn more about Ken, visit his website.
Your biggest literary influences:
Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Alexander Dumas, Larry McMurtry, Jim Harrison, Chris Bohjalian, John Irving, E.L. Doctorow, Carlos Castenada, Ann Patchett, Barbara Kingsolver, John LeCarre, and many others
Last book read:
The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian
The book that changed your life:
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas: I read this wonderful literary adventure story while in high school recovering from a bout of mononucleosis. It inspired me to write and keep writing for the rest of my life.
Your favorite literary character:
Augustus McCrae, the protagonist of Larry McMurtry’s book Lonesome Dove. His character leaps off the page (as McMurtry’s characters tend to do) with compelling dialogue full of life’s truisms cloaked in a dusty tale of the west.
Currently working on:
I have several projects in progress including one discovered while researching NORVEL that is screaming to be told.
Words to live by:
Be here now. The past is gone and the future will be here soon enough.
Advice for aspiring authors:
Write every day.
Articles and Reviews:
Victoria Whitebread, Amazon review
Line Johnson, Amazon review
Dean Vargo, Amazon review
Charles & Susan Malone, Amazon review
L. L. Mertin, Amazon review
“I was moved to tears, not only by the incredible story, but by the care and attention paid to do justice to the memory of a great man. Norvel Lee was a giant in stature and in heart — the definition of a gentleman and a scholar. He was also the best grandpa a kid could ask for. This is about as close to real life as a work of fiction can get.”
— Danielle K. Anderson, Amazon reviewer
“Loved reading this book about my Uncle Norvel. It was wonderful reading about my father, aunts and grandparents who were also part of this book.”
— Aisha, Amazon reviewer
“I didn’t even know this book was being worked on. This man, Norvel Lee, is my husband’s uncle. I’ve always heard snippets of what a powerhouse of a man he was. Now I have great details about him and I am very moved … Read this book. You will be the better for it.”
— Audra T. Russell