Perilous Panacea -- Techno-Thriller Novel by Ronald Klueh


Road to a Novelist


This is a self introduction of Ronald Klueh, the writer.  On occasion I have wondered:  how did I get to here?  Mainly though, I haven’t spent much time trying to figure it out.  I try to just keep moving on day to day—stay in the present.  This is a brief look back at how I got here—the author of Perilous Panacea.


I was born and raised in the small town of Ferdinand in Southwest Indiana.   I was the oldest of six children, and there was no money for college, so after high school, I volunteered for the draft to “figure out what I wanted to do and to get the GI Bill.  After two years in the army, I was accepted by the Purdue University Engineering School and Ithe ndiana University Journalism School.  I thought I wanted to write, but chose Purdue—more money and jobs in engineering, and I figured if I flunked out I could always go to journalism. 


When I entered Purdue, all I wanted was a job that paid $400 a month.  They asked which engineering field interested me.  I knew engineers built bridges, so they signed me up for Civil Engineering.  Later I found out about Aeronautical Engineering, which sounded good.  A friend said Aeronautical Engineering might limit me, but if I chose Mechanical Engineering, there would be more job choices, including the aerospace industry.  Shortly after signing up for Mechanical Engineering, I discovered there was an eight-week machine-drawing course in the summer.  My worst subject that freshman year was mechanical drawing.  Thereafter, I bumbled into an open house for Chemical Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering—the departments were in the same building—and found my major.


That freshman year at Purdue tested my mettle, which helped later in life when I persisted in trying to write a novel.   At the timePurdue as a state school had to take all Indiana residents who applied.  Pre-entrance tests were required to place you in the proper math and science classes.  I left the tests knowing I hadn't done well, blaming it on a high-school background that left me deficient in math and science, and two-years away from school probably didn’t help.  I needed an extra semester in math, which also set me back a semester in Physics.


Sometime during that freshman year, I had a conference with a counselor, who showed me the results of those tests.  I remember seeing a grade of fourteen and the counselor telling me I could hang around, but I wasn’t going to make it.  That was all it took.  I spent my four years at Purdue going to class and studying during the week and studying and sleeping on the weekend.  It was many years later that I realized college could be a four-year party.


After receiving a Metallurgical Engineering Degree from Purdue, I decided research would be an interesting way to earn a living, and I went on to earn a PhD in Metallurgy and Material Science from Carnegie Mellon University.  From there I became a research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN.  That position provided ample opportunity to write—over two-hundred-fifty papers published in the scientific and technical literature.  I still wanted to write for a general audience.  I stated by doing some free-lance science writing for magazines for the layman interested in science—New Science Magazine, Popular Science, and others.  I also had an op-ed piece in the Washington Post that was then picked up by newspapers around the country—Houston Chronicle, Hartford Times Press, and others.


Fiction was what I really wanted to do, so I wrote some short stories and had two accepted, one of which was published, while the other languished in the magazine’s files until the magazine went out of business.  Given the limited number of outlets for short stories, I turned to writing novels and “finished” three, including Perilous Panacea.  I was able to acquire agent representation for all three, but there were no sales.  About six years ago, I essentially quit writing, although I did not quit thinking about writing.


Three years ago, I exchanged my research career for two new careers:  self-employed metallurgical consultant and writer.  For my first writing task, I returned to Perilous Panacea (more about writing the novel here).  I was then lucky enough to find Savant Books and Publications, Honolulu, HI, who published it.


Am I now a novelist?   





Book available at AmazonBarnes and Noble and Savant.

                        Available in Adobe.pdf, Tablet, iPad, Nook at Google eBooks.  


                        Also at Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon UK, Amazon Japan, Amazon Italy, Amazon Spain;

                         Amazon Austria, and  Bookadda in India.



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