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Writers' block

Published authors at Cedar Crest and Seabrook in good company

Created date

October 25th, 2009
Cedar CrestandSeabrookare home to many voracious readers. A few have even turned the page from reader to author. Cedar Crestresident Monroe Monty Kuttner wanted to be a writer growing up. It s what I thought I would do with my life, he says. After studying at City College of New York and receiving his undergraduate degree in journalism and creative writing, he served in the War. But when I returned home, I ended up getting a job as a management consultant. I guess I was smart enough to realize that I couldn t make a living as a writer, Kuttner says with a laugh. But writing was still something that I always wanted to do. During his professional career, his wish came true, as he authored business textbooks and handbooks. I guess that helped me stay sharp and scratch the itch, he says.

Inspiration found

Soon after retiring and moving toCedar Crest, Kuttner became inspired. He read a historical book about the ancient Khazar Empire, an almost forgotten power in Eastern Europe that converted from Tengriism to Judaism in the 8th century. I got hooked because my mom and dad came from that area of the world where I could have had a Khazar as a distant relative, Kuttner says. It just kept sticking in my mind. So I started doing research and found that there was plenty there to write a novel about. The result? The Rabbi King, a 500-pager that Kuttner a science fiction reader himself describes as a historically based adventure novel. The book, which he calls his retirement project, was published in 2001.

Publish or perish

Seabrookresident Richard Krzys was a University of Pittsburgh professor for more than 23 years, specializing in library and information sciences. He holds a Ph.D. in education and has been a Fulbright scholar. As a professor, you live by the rule publish or perish, he says. So I did what was required I wrote. But although Krzys was a professor by trade, he believes he is a librarian at heart. And librarians are the last of the generalists, Krzys says. So naturally, he became published by penning articles on a variety of topics for encyclopedias, notably the New Book of Knowledge. I enjoyed writing, Krzys says. It was fun and really wasn t the chore that some professors say it is.

On to something new

One work of which he is particularly proud is World Librarianship, a comparative study of libraries around the world. It was interesting because it was something that had never been done before, Krzys says. I wrote it like an encyclopedia. One person can t do it all, so I focused my attention on Latin American libraries and had other library experts from Asia and Africa tell those stories. But Krzys most recent books have quite a different audience: children. Piano with a Soul, released in 2003, tells the tale of a piano that plays by itself at the stroke of midnight. The main character, Elise, is a ten-yearold girl living with her grandmother who discovers that the instrument purchased for her has a soul of its own. Along the way, Elise uncovers the answers to the mystery and the magic and beauty of classical music. Since delving into children s books, Krzys hasn t shied away from his academic background. The cover of Piano with a Soul refers to the author as Dr. Krzys. He explains: I figured it worked pretty well for Dr. Seuss, who wasn t even a real doctor, so why not give it a try?