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Home > Author > Ronald Klueh
 
Ronald Klueh

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Member Since: Apr, 2011

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  Ronald Klueh           

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Publication of my techno-thriller Perilous Panacea made me a 30-year overnight success. Well maybe … 30-plus …


Background Information

 

This is supposed to be a self introduction of Ronald Klueh, the writer.  On occasion over the years, I have wondered:  how did I get to here?  Mainly though, I haven’t spent much time trying to figure that out. The past and the future are not as important as just keeping on the move day to day—stay in the present.  Despite that orientation, this is a brief look back at how I got here—author of Perilous Panacea.

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

  After receiving a Metallurgical Engineering Degree from Purdue, I earned 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, and I did 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 of them, but there were no sales.  About five years ago, I essentially quit writing.

 Two 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.  The manuscript originated before the ubiquity of cell phones, text messaging, and high-speed internet, and the terms cyber terrorism and cyber attack did not exist.  Back then, words like trap door, Trojan horse, and virus were not part of computer jargon.  When I returned to the novel, I believe—I hope—I knew more about crafting a story, and I sought to sharpen the story and the characters and bring them into the twenty-first century.

Accomplishments

BS Purdue University, MS, PhD Carnegie Mellon University

Additional Information

I think of Perilous Panacea as a techno-thriller in the genre popularized by Tom Clancy (note: I have no illusions about being another Clancy—at least at this time). It is based on today’s headlines; it concerns nuclear terror, is set in the not-too-distant future involving Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. It entails stolen plutonium and uranium and the clandestine manufacture of atomic bombs within the U.S. and all the chaos emanating from such an incident. Perilous Panacea involves a computer whiz-bang willing to be bought. He assumes control of the U.S. Department of Energy computerized security system to engineer the theft. In addition to buying expertise, blackmail and kidnapping are used to “recruit” additional personnel needed to successfully manufacture atomic bombs. The blackmailed and kidnapped scientists know they must escape to save the world from nuclear chaos—and save themselves—while the FBI mounts its effort to find the nuclear material and simultaneously fend off bureaucratic interference and media leaks. Could this happen? Could nuclear material be released into the atmosphere without setting off a bomb or terrorist attack? Read Perilous Panacea and decide for yourself.

Favorite Links

Perilous Panacea

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