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Ronald Kidd ~ September 2017
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You can learn about my books, plays, and music at ronaldkidd.com
You can download a sampler of chapters PDF from my three latest books.

Check these out

  • New: Room of Shadows 
    Edgar Allan Poe returns and gets the glorious death he deserved. 
  • Recently published: Dreambender 
    In a dystopian future, dreams are controlled and the world is a better place. Or is it?
  • Fall 2018: Lord of the Mountain 
    The “big bang” of country music in 1927
    at Bristol, Tennessee

Back to School:
Bullying with Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe comes to life in my middle grade novel Room of Shadows. But how did the story come to life? It started with bullying.

In third grade I was bullied by a boy whose name I dont even remember. I was paralyzed by fear that he would grab me on the playground and march me off God knows where to do God knows what.

I longed to hurt him, and at the beginning of this novel, in the person of David Cray, I finally got my chance. David turns on Jake Bragg, his bully, and pummels him. Then David
s anger, unleashed and out of control, summons a spirit in the old house where David and his mother live in Baltimore. It turns out to be the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe, trapped in the house for 150 years, during which he has morphed into a soiled, sick, twisted version of Poe known as the Raven.

Suddenly, mysteriously, the bullying resumes, but this time the targets are Davids own enemies, starting with Jake Bragg. Who is bullying them and why? David asks the question and is afraid of what the answer might reveal.

Ive written a discussion guide for Room of Shadows that includes questions about bullying. Read or download the discussion guide here.

My Favorite Books:
The Cadfael Series, by Ellis Peters

I love some books for the stories. I love some for the insights. I love some for the beauty of the language. But the books I love most are for the characters — or, rather, the character. He is Cadfael.  

Cadfael is a Benedictine monk, of all things, who lives in twelfth-century England at the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul in Shrewsbury. He is featured in a series of twenty mystery novels and three short stories by Ellis Peters, the pen name of Edith Pargeter, a medieval historian. Cadfael solves mysteries using his experience as a knight in the Crusades, his medical knowledge, and his insight into human nature.  

But mysteries arent the point; the point is the character. Cadfael is friend, parent, mentor — the ideal companion. Im working on my third reading of the series, savoring the time spent with my favorite character and, of course, with Edith Pargeter, whose spirit shines through her marvelous creation

Me, on a Cruise?

I was never interested in cruises, but my wife Yvonne and I came across a Baltic cruise to places we had never been and might never see: Bergen (shown here), Copenhagen, Tallinn, Stockholm, Helsinki, and St. Petersburg. 

We just got back, and the trip was wonderful — great service, delicious food, and travel to new places, all in the company of our good friends Joel and Jacqui Bean.

In particular, St. Petersburg was magnificent. We saw the streets and buildings imagined by Peter the Great when he decided Russia should face Europe. Somehow I was stunned to see that the city and the people were real, not some Cold War myth.

Combined with our (walking) tour last year of Berlin, Prague, and Vienna, the trip opened the door to a part of the world we had never visited but find fascinating.

All String Players
Are Communists

As a young trumpet player I studied with John Clyman, legendary teacher and principal trumpet of the 20th Century Fox orchestra in Hollywood, where he played on such storied soundtracks as “Ben Hur” and “Oklahoma,” as well as on the famous Fox logo fanfare.

To me, Mr. Clyman was a combination of John Wayne and Moses. For every minute of music, there were ten minutes of talk about life. One day I heard his surprising take on string players, which started me thinking about all the sections of the orchestra. This is what he told me, and here is what I wrote.

All String Players Are Communists


Copyright © 2017 Ronald Kidd, All rights reserved.


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