I met Ken when I joined his Facebook group Writers Roundup. Read about Ken's amazing life and THREE CREEKS, Book One of this award-winning series.
He was my blog guest last year, and since then, I read THREE CREEKS. I cannot praise it enough. I shared my 5-star Amazon review at the end of this post. Meanwhile, meet Ken and read about his amazing life and books:
Ken didn't write his first full novel until he was sixty-nine years of age. He often wonders what the hell took him so long. At age seventy-nine…he's currently working on novel number forty.
He has written in several genres...Military Action, Police Procedural, SyFy, Western, and now, Southern Noir Mystery.
Ken spent thirty years raising cattle and quarter horses in Texas and forty-five years as a professional actor (after a stint in the Marine Corps). Those years gave him a background for storytelling…or as he has been known to say, "I've always been a bit of a bull---t artist, so writing novels kind of came naturally once it occurred to me I could put my stories down on paper."
His writing style has been likened to a combination of Louis L'Amour and Terry C. Johnston with an occasional Hitchcockian twist…now that's a combination. Ken just likes to say, "I'm a storyteller."
"I don't write about outlaws and peace officers...I write about people."
At age seventy-nine, he released novel #37 on Sept. 19th...THREE CREEKS. it just may be his opus. He has released #38, book #2 in the THREE CREEKS series...RED HILL ROAD, followed by #39, book #3 in the series...THE POND, Feb. 19, 2021. The THREE CREEKS series is late 1940s Southern Noir Mysteries in the vein of To Kill a Mockingbird and The Rock Hole by Reavis Wortham. The first in the series, THREE CREEKS just won the Firebird Award for Best Mystery of 2020.
Novel #36 was SKINWALKER JUSTICE, a Western Supernatural thriller, book #5 in the Silke Justice series. STEELDUST, started the BONE & LORAINE spin-off with modern day detectives, Bone and Loraine being accidentally transported back in time to 1898. Current WIPS are #39, DALIA MARRH, book # 6 in the Silke Justice series and FRIENDS, book #4 in the THREE CREEKS MYSTERY SERIES.
Writing has become Ken's second life: he has been a Marine, played collegiate football, been a Texas wildcatter, cattle and horse rancher, professional film and TV actor and now...a novelist. Who knew?
In addition to his love for writing fiction, he taught acting for 17 years, still teaches voice-over and creative writing workshops. His favorite expression is: "Just tell the damn story."
About THREE CREEKS
WINNER - BEST MYSTERY - 2021 - FIREBIRD AWARDS
Three Creeks is a heart wrenching, gripping, sometimes poignant, all be it occasionally humorous, Southern Noir Mystery seen through the eyes of an eight year old Texas boy, Foot Lee, in southern Arkansas 1949.
Foot's grandfather is called out of retirement from the Sheriff's Department to cover for Sheriff Wilson, wounded during a moonshine still bust, to track down a chain killer who has murdered three teenage girls with a fourth girl missing.
Who is the killer?
What do Foot and his best friend, a colored boy the same age named Hutch, have to do with it?
Is the fourth girl found alive?
Follow the twists and turns to find out in THREE CREEKS.
THREE CREEKS just named First Place Winner - Mystery Category - Firebird Awards. I have had the story of Three Creek fighting to get out of my head and on paper for the last five or six years...It finally won. I wrote it in 21 days. I've never written a story quite like this before and I'm amazed at how fast it came pouring out...in a torrent. Some of my beta readers told me after reading it that Three Creeks had the flavor of To Kill a Mocking Bird, Catcher in the Rye, and Where the Crawdads Sing and they thought it just as good. That's a bit heady, but I do think most will like it, especially if they like a good Southern Noir Mystery.
You could almost call it a memoir - minus the murders.
“No, Daddy, no! I’m scared…” Was all I got out before the waterwings my grandma had made me
out of two one gallon lard buckets and a flour sack went sailing into the bushes one way an’ all I could
see in the other direction was sky, trees, water, sky, trees, water…
I splashed face first to the surface of the murky creek all the way out in the middle of the swimmin’
hole. I came to the surface, spittin’ an’ sputterin’…tryin’ to hold my head above water.
“Put your head down, boy!…Swim to me. Come on…Put your head down…Reach for the bank.”
I looked up with water blurin’ my vision at my daddy standin’ up on the clay bank of the local
swimmin’ hole at Three Creeks, waving me toward him. He was a hard-as-nails, muscular,
square-jawed, broad-shouldered man without a ounce of fat on him.
I was to be eight years old in three days, June 18, 1949…if I survived. My daddy was a driller for
Shell Oil and we currently lived just outside of a boomtown named Gainesville, Texas, in some
former Army barracks. The base where all the drillin’ crews lived had been named Camp Howes
durin’ the war.
The war they called World War II…guess there’d been another one before…had been over
almost four years and we had already lived in seven boomtowns in three states, searchin’ for oil during
the war an’ were still at it. I was born six months before Pearl Harbor.
My Amazon Review:
Better Than Watching A Movie
Three Creeks, set in 1940’s Arkansas, had me hooked from the first paragraph. In Book One of this series, told in part by 8-year-old “Foot” Lee, three young girls are found drowned, strangled, and discovered to be pregnant. A fourth girl survived a similar horrific ordeal and escaped, but her state of shock prevents her from talking. I cannot remember the last time I’ve experienced dialogue so realistic, so authentic, so true-to-life, and the day-to-day details of the townsfolks’ lives made this story come to such vivid life, I could see every scene and hear every word as if I was watching a movie rather than reading a book. The writing and dialogue are nothing short of brilliant.
I couldn’t even guess who the murderer was, and as in every great mystery, I was dumbfounded when it was revealed.
This is the first of Ken’s books I’ve read, and am going back to purchase the rest of the series. It’s obvious why he’s won so many awards. His storytelling is beyond masterful; he’s up there with the greats. Bravo Ken!