About

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“There are perhaps no days of our childhood that we lived as fully as those spent with a beloved book.” –Marcel Proust

My childhood was spent in an armchair, reading fairy tales, Volume A of the Encyclopedia Britannica (it was free at the grocery store but the rest of the series was not), Dad’s American Red Cross “First Aid” manual from his Army days (which advised butter as a treatment for burns),  the Bible, Great-Aunt Elsie’s back issues of “National Enquirer” and “Capper’s Weekly” (handed down the line until they got to me). I read anything I could get my hands on. The backs of cereal boxes at the breakfast table? Anything.

My first long word, in chalk on a little 5×7 blackboard, I wasn’t sure what I wrote, so I worked up the courage to ask Dad at the breakfast table. He raised his eyebrows, feigned surprise and pride and said, “Why, that says Carolina Tea Kettle!”

I was four. I believed him.

Mom drove to town once a week for groceries (most of what we ate, we grew on the farm). With five daughters all a year apart in age, she had us take turns going along with her for the rare chance to leave the house. My sisters hit the clothing stores; I hit the public library. At 16, I met Carl Sagan (on paper) and fell in love. Mom had no idea. Dad said “book smarts don’t mean sick ’em,” and if he shouted for an Alan wrench, I knew it was safer to let someone else fetch it rather than risk his scorn when I brought him that other kind of wrench.

I’ve never lived farther than 90 miles from the farm where I was born, though two of my sisters have lived all over the globe. This strikes me as a serious flaw for a writer, since we should “write what you know,” and I know very little — but Ben Shipley (I love you, Ben!!) informs me that I know more than I think. Not many people these days grew up so close to the dirt, chicken dust and manure. It took me 50 years to get it, but I am uniquely qualified to grasp that poem my college lit professor tortured me with–William Carlos Williams saying “so much depends on the red wheelbarrow, glazed with rain water, beside the white chicken.” I shook my head in disbelief that this sentence (arranged with white space, just so) had made it into a textbook, while my beloved Eugene Fields poem, “Little Boy Blue,” was incriminated as an example of bad poetry in the same textbook.

Here’s my LinkedIn bio, if anyone really cares to know:  Carol Kean is an avid reader and writer, book reviewer, wife, mom, guerilla gardener and champion of underdogs and overlooked authors. Science is her first love but it was unrequited, so she earned a degree in English instead and worked as a tech writer for Chamberlain Manufacturing Corporation and Rockwell Collins (**CMC’s Patriot Warhead, Rockwell’s High-Frequency and VHF communications equipment and GPS– in its infancy!–were her favorite projects). She wrote two novels while staying home to raise three little musicians, joined a fiction writing workshop and plans to see “Ironwolf” and “Left on Stonehaven” published.

I’ve published a few short stories. A mysterious time-traveling German shows up at Liberty Island from time to time. Thanks to author Lindy Moone, who told me about the Kindle Boards forum, my vigilante bag lady makes her first appearance in Andrew Ashling’s Flash Fiction 2014 anthology (details forthcoming).

Job History, post-college:

Rockwell Collins presentations writer October 1987 – February 1993 (5 years 5 months) Cedar Rapids, Iowa

General scapegoat – accepting job assigments from engineers who needed it yesterday, or said they did in hopes of actually getting it tomorow; begging other Graphics Department members to do their jobs, e.g., artists, typesetters, proofreaders and the printshop; rushing documents to print or view cells to “Reproduction” upstairs; putting out fires with string pulling and diplomatic words.

Chamberlain Manufacturing Corporation (no longer exists, but it’s not my fault) – technical writer June 1985 – October 1987)  Waterloo, Iowa

That’s enough about me. I love my husband and our 3 kids, and lots of other stuff, but seriously, who has time to read my list of interests/passions/hobbies? I’m only here because I have to stick my feet in the water, from time to time, and sometimes even dive deep. Let me know if you see any sharks, please.

p.s. You can find me at Twitter: @tea_in_carolina novelist, reviewer, editor, book critic for , @NetGalley, AmazonVine, @goodreads and @amazon; champion of indie authors & underdogs; no AutoRetweets, no buying Followers; I do my own reading, choosing and tweeting.

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12 Responses to About

  1. sachemspeaks says:

    I see sharks all the time in Florida. 🙂
    They do not like eating humans. 🙂

    Like

  2. carolkean says:

    Sachem, I love your blog on alligators, that mighty fortress of a native animal, now being hunted even in a wildlife preserve (http://sachemspeaks.wordpress.com/). What tribe are you? I keep meaning to blog about Native Americans (Indians, now?), but where to begin??

    Like

  3. Pingback: A little about author Carol Kean | The Peers of Beinan series on Word Press

  4. Nancy Trotic of Sunnycroft Books says:

    You say, “Not many people these days grew up so close to the dirt, chicken dust and manure. It took me 50 years to get it, but I am uniquely qualified to grasp that poem my college lit professor tortured me with–William Carlos Williams saying ‘so much depends on the red wheelbarrow, glazed with rain water, beside the white chicken.'”

    Here is Ardyth Kennelly’s opinion (spoken by a character in her soon-to-be-published novel):

    http://ardythkennelly.blogspot.com/2014/02/what-art-is-for.html

    Like

    • carolkean says:

      Oh, I love it, Nancy, and cannot wait to see the novel when it comes out! What a treasure to find unpublished manuscripts in the estate of a beloved author.
      Excerpt From Variation West:

      He shook his head. “It wouldn’t seem like anything!”
      “Now wait,” she said. “It seems like something, doesn’t it? when they scare poor Falstaff in the woods? When Madame Butterfly kills herself? When the stone man, the man of white marble, comes clomping into Don Giovanni’s dining room, bump bump bump? That’s what art is for, isn’t it? to take something measly—measly in comparison with the universe—and make it count for something?”
      –From Variation West

      Like

  5. Carol, send me a Guest (Book out Soon) Author article 😀

    Adapt the submissions guidelines at:

    http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/contact-me/

    Liked by 1 person

    • carolkean says:

      Thank you for offering! When I get to that point, I’ll take you up on it. And thanks for taking time to read so many of my blog posts. You’re a great supporter of indie authors!

      Like

  6. I mentioned this to you recently Carol., but you should read Growing Up Country, by Carol Bodensteiner. As a farm girl, I think you will like it.

    Like

  7. carolkean says:

    David, I bought the book — just haven’t unearthed it yet in my Kindle. I’ve read the opening chapters of “Tan” three times now. I figured out where it is I set the book down and fail to return. It’s when the POV shifts suddenly to some other guy, and five years have passed. We do get back to Liam again, but that break to the other guys’ POV somehow throws me. Also, I hate historical fiction because terrible things like an innocent man falsely accused of rape has happened in real life (even if Liam is pure fiction) and books that set off my sense of outrage sometimes drive me to cat videos and comedies with happy endings. The weakness is all mine, not the author’s.

    Like

  8. Roger Carden says:

    I’d like to send you a copy of our first print anthology from our website of pulp/noir stories for review.
    Crimson Streets. Ping me if you’re interested.

    Like

    • carolkean says:

      I never make promises, and I never say no. Some books (even best sellers) are a can’t-finish for me, for any number of reasons. If you send me a file (not gift me a book), and it costs nothing to email it to me, just send it. Thanks for asking. I’ve met some great writers this way.

      Like

      • Roger Carden says:

        Unfortunately, we did not do a PDF edition. We’ve run extra copies of the book to send out for review. We do plan to make a Kindle edition or PDF available for volume 2 in January.

        Like

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