Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One More Reason I Love the Internet

Here’s part of an email I received the other day:

“I found your blog, posted January, 2009, about the ACE paperback book title, "Odds Against Linda." I was very pleased to read what you had to say. Steve Ward was a pseudonym for Norman Rosenthal, who also
wrote "Silenced Witness." They are the same person and that I know because it is my dad. He loved to write and wrote on the side while holding down a regular job. Unfortunately he had no other books published. He was working on several, but died before any could be
completed.”

And here’s some information from a follow-up email:

“If you would like, here's some biographical information on my father. During WWII my dad was a bombardier on a B-24. He flew out of Italy and while on a mission over Vienna was shot down and became a POW. He
spent his time in the famous Stalag Luft III until General Patton liberated the camp at the end of the war.

In 1947, he graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. He and my mother lived in California for almost 20 years where he worked as a general manager for an established newspaper publisher. While in California he belonged to the Northern California Chapter of the
Mystery Writers of America and at one time held an officers position in the chapter. Such people as Lenore Glen Offord and Anthony Boucher
also belonged at that time.

My parents then moved to Ohio where he became Advertising and Marketing Director for Jacobs, Visconsi & Jacobs, a shopping center developer. (Yes, the same Jacobs that owned the Cleveland Indians, but not until several years after my dad
retired).

My dad not only loved to write, but to read and listen to
music. He had a very extensive library and record collection. Writing
was a passion of his, but it's hard to support a family on writing
alone. "Silenced Witness" was published in 1955. He then wrote "Odds
Against Linda" under the name of Steve Ward which was published in 1960. Both were written while living in California. Over the years he had worked on several novels but because of work, was never ever able to finish any of them to his satisfaction. However, after his retirement, he did have two short stories published in the Sunday magazine section of the "Cleveland Plain Dealer." He retired in the
late 1980s and really started to delve into his writing. Unfortunately shortly afterwards he became ill with Alzheimer's and it progressed rather rapidly before he could finish any other books. He died in November, 1998.”

I really enjoyed ODDS AGAINST LINDA and did a Forgotten Books post about it earlier this year. I’ve ordered Norman Rosenthal’s other book, SILENCED WITNESS, and I’m sure I’ll have some comments on it in due time. I think it’s great that members of his family know there are still people out here reading and appreciating his work, and I always enjoy finding out more about the writers whose work has entertained me. It’s a shame Rosenthal wasn’t able to publish any more books. From what I’ve read, he was a pretty good writer.

7 comments:

Bill Crider said...

I love the Internet, too. This is great stuff. I have both those books but (big surprise) haven't read them.

George said...

It's amazing what information surfaces when everyone is connected! I'll have to dig these books out and read them.

Anonymous said...

Amazing. And Mr.Rosenthal's dramatic service in WWII is very honorable!

Bill Khemski

Charles Gramlich said...

That's really cool. The internet certainly can give us some cool connections to folks.

Laurie said...

Very cool. Sounds like he was a very interesting person. The Internet has changed a lot of lives in a good way.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing it. I'll keep an eye out for both author names.

Ed Lynskey

David Cranmer said...

I will be on the lookout for these titles. And I'm beginning to save posts like this because it's important to remember the giants whose shoulders we stand on.