Prolific and best-selling author Don Keith has just published his 25th book and it is a unique blend of fact and fiction that pays tribute to the writer's hobby of choice: amateur (ham) radio.
RIDING THE SHORTWAVES: EXPLORING THE MAGIC OF AMATEUR RADIO is made up short stories, opinion pieces, humor, and "how to" articles, all dealing with the growing and vibrant hobby. Some of the material in the book has appeared in other forms on various web sites including Keith's own ham-radio-oriented site,www.n4kc.com.
"People have been urging me to put these articles into book form," Keith says. "I have taken some of the ones that folks seemed to enjoy most or that they tell me they learned the most from and added a bunch more that I have been working on for a while. That's the book! It is simply one man's love sonnet to the world's greatest hobby."
Keith has been a licensed amateur radio operator—his call sign isN4KC—for more than 50 years, obtaining his license initially in 1961 at the age of 13. He holds the Amateur Extra class license, is a member of the American Radio Relay League, and is active on most amateur frequencies and modes. The author says the book is intended for those interested in joining the hobby and newly licensed amateurs, but he believes the stories and practical information will appeal to hams with all levels of experience.
N4KC has written books on subjects ranging from college football, NASCAR racing, World War II history, submarines, and more, and his works include both fiction and non-fiction. His novel WIZARD OF THE WIND, set in broadcasting, has a ham as a principal character and has just been made available as an e-book in addition to having been offered previously as a traditional printed book. His thriller, FINAL BEARING, was a nationally-bestselling novel, and its sequel, FIRING POINT, has just been published by Penguin/Signet and is in pre-production as a major motion picture. His book about the world's first nuclear-powered vessel, the submarine USS Nautilus, and her historic voyage to the North Pole in 1958 was titled THE ICE DIARIES. It was co-written with the skipper who took her on that historic voyage. That book was submitted for consideration for the Pulitzer Prize. It also led to a major amateur radio special event operation in 2008 from Historic Ship Nautilus in Groton, Connecticut, as N9N to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the North Pole run (see the N9N entry on www.qrz.com for details).
"I have been writing this book in my head for years," Keith says. "Then I began allowing some of the stories and articles to be published on some ham radio web sites and put them on my own site. I have been thrilled with the positive response to them. I want everybody else to know how great our hobby is. It was the main factor that started me on a 22-year career in broadcasting. If young people knew how ham radio could lead to a lifetime career, I think more of them might investigate it. Or if they just knew how much fun and satisfaction it can be!"RIDING THE SHORTWAVES: EXPLORING THE MAGIC OF AMATEUR RADIO is available as a trade paperback book or as an e-book for the Kindle or other e-book readers. Copies may be ordered through Amazon or via Keith's web site, www.donkeith.com (including in Europe) or www.n4kc.com. It will also be offered soon by other sellers of amateur radio books.