Keith Yocum is an author of eight novels and lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He was born in Ridgecrest, California, the civilian town supporting the China Lake Naval Weapons Center in the Mojave Desert and grew up overseas as an Army brat, including long stints in the Panama Canal Zone and Western Australia. He has an undergraduate degree in philosophy and a graduate degree in journalism. He has an extensive career in publishing. He was the founder of a group of weekly newspapers in the western suburbs of Boston. He has also worked for publications like The Boston Globe and The New England Journal of Medicine.
Q & A with Keith Yocum
Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!
Perhaps one of the strangest things that happened to me occurred when I was in first grade. I grew up in the Panama Canal Zone when the U.S. still maintained the canal. Our elementary school was located smack dab on the street that was the border between the U.S. Canal Zone and Panama. Anti-government riots broke out one day and they canceled school. Parents were called to come to get their children. We were led outside into the waiting arms of our mothers, who were across the street. Unfortunately, the Panamanian National Guard had started firing tear gas at the rioters across the border and it wafted onto the U.S. side. I saw my mother across the street waving for me, so I ran to her. Unfortunately, I also ran into tear gas and found myself bent over and gasping for air, and throwing up. What’s so funny is that I can’t remember what I did three days ago, but I can remember exactly what happened that day in first grade!
Where were you born/grew up at?
When people ask where I grew up, I just fudge it a bit and say, “All over.” That raises a few eyebrows, but the truth is that’s what happened. I was born in the Mojave Desert in California, moved to the Panama Canal Zone when I was 4 years old, lived in Australia for six months, then back to the Canal Zone, then St. Louis, MO, then back to the zone. Then to northern Virginia. Then to Australia for two years, then back to Northern Virginia. So, “All over,” kind of covers it.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was in high school in an Australian boarding school, I started a diary. I still have it today and chuckle at some of the silly adolescent things I wrote. But I got the bug somehow, and in college, I started writing for the school paper and kept trying to figure out how a writer could make a decent living. My conclusion was journalism. I ended up getting a master’s degree in journalism and spent many years writing and editing for many publications including The Boston Globe. This in turn led to my writing novels. I’m on novel number nine now, and still plugging away at it.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Color of Blood is a novel that has all the ingredients of an exciting movie. There is a strong female character, authentic people with complicated family lives, exotic locations including the Australian Outback, an unlikely romance, a thrilling mystery, and plenty of action. Many reviewers say they can’t wait to see the movie! Neither can I…
Color of Blood
A Dennis Cunningham Thriller Book 1
by Keith Yocum
Genre: Romantic Thriller
A CIA investigator is sent to Australia to look for a missing agent lost in the Outback, only to discover the bitter and dusty truth about himself and the agency.
“A scary, smart, sweet, sexy CIA tale” — Kirkus Reviews
Dennis is glad to be back at work. His wife’s death left him devastated but he’ll do anything to lose himself into work at the Inspector General’s office of the CIA. A brilliant, if prickly investigator, he’s spent his career chasing down the Agency’s thieves and liars. When his boss forces him to take a low-level assignment to investigate a missing employee in Australia, he soon finds that even in the red dust of the Outback, there is romance – and death – just a sweltering heartbeat away.
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