Keith M. Donaldson
Mystery author, Writing and Editing
I am Keith M. Donaldson, a retired broadcast executive, sometime playwright / poet and over the past decade an author. You may or may not believe in second lives, I am leading mine now.
Keith M. Donaldson's Bio:
I am Keith M. Donaldson. Do you believe in 2nd lives? Well, I am living mine. My first life was K-12 followed with a degree in drama. I went on to act in and direct over fifty plays and wrote over a nine and four full length plays. Unfortunately, I had to work for a living and simultaneously worked to pay the bills while following my passion for writing, I worked in network broadcasting production at both NBC radio and television then as radio account executive, an advertising copywriter, director of radio and TV Ads, and artistic director owning my own advertising agency in Washington, DC, and Arlington, Virginia.
However, it was after I fully retired at the end of 2002 that I began my second life. I began writing mystery novels in 2003. In 2010 I worked in my first film Life Fine Tuned in the featured role of Doc.
I had no time to be in or direct plays running my own business but wanted to stay close to theatre and in the late 1970s convinced a former NBC compatriot, now the general manager of WEAM “Big Band Radio,” to let me be the station’s theater reviewer (AKA Keith Montgomery). From January 1982 to July 1985’ when the station was sold, I hosted WEAM’s Saturday 6 – 10 AM slot.
Three different monthly magazines—over a 12 year period-- hired me to write commentaries and conducted interviews with headliners, directors and playwrights of productions opening in DC.
When I sold my agency in 1989, I began studying playwriting and slowly wove back into my first love—theater—acting, directing, and writing. I joined the Playwrights Forum of DC in1990 and served on the Alexandria Performing Arts Association Board of Directors from 1997 to 2010.
My plays, which are mostly one act, have been produced in and around DC; a one-act “A Touch of Spring” was performed several times, including in New York City. A scene from that play was selected by the anthology “The Best Stage Scenes” for their 1996 issue.
In recent years, I have occasionally acted and directed In June 2011, I rewrote a thirteen-year-old, two-act play Road Rage, to fit the locale of North Carolina, where I now reside, and directed its production. In February 2012, I directed three 10-minute comedies I had written in an 'evening of six short comedies'. (two weekend
My second life began in 2003, after retiring from business, that I turned my writing efforts to fiction, as well as improving my golf game—finding neither to be an easy task.
By the end of 2007, I had written and self-published two novels that are in my Laura Wolfe Thriller series: Death of an Intern and The Hill People (since retitled Senate Cloakroom Cabal) . Laura Wolfe is a beat reporter with the Daily Star in Washington, DC. Death of an Intern was a finalist in “Mystery” at the 2007 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (NGIBA). The Hill People, now Senate Cloakroom Cabal, won finalist in both “Politics” and “Multicultural Fiction” categories at the 2008 NGIBA. BQB Publishing republished all my books beginning in early 2012 rereleasing Death of an Intern in January. This edition won a second finalist award in “Mystery” at the 2012 NGIBA.
In October, BQB Publishing rereleased Senate Cloakroom Cabal . It has been submitted to the 2013 NGIBA. I self-published and released Rude Awakenings, December 2009. Called Prescient and clairvoyant, it is an action packed political thriller filled with intrigue about a third-party president and how America pulls itself by its boot straps. BQB Publishing rereleased it in May 2012. It first won a finalist award in “Mystery” at the 2010 NGIBA and again in 2012 under BQB. Both Death of an Intern and Rude Awakenings won five-star awards from Readers Favorite in 2012.
I invite you to visit my website at www.donaldsonkeith.com.
Keith M. Donaldson
Keith M. Donaldson's Education:
Feagen Schoold of Drama & Broadcasting, NYC1951 – 1955Dramatic Arts & Broadcasting
Keith M. Donaldson's Interests & Activities:
My older brother and I grew up in Palisade, NJ and graduated from Fort Lee H.S. We learned the trades from our father a degreed Electrical Engineer from Cornell University class of 1920. He was also a classical tenor soloist of note in the 1920s through the 1950s in northern New Jersey and some in NYC. Along with teaching us to work with our hands, he also taught us the art of singing classically. Breath from the diaphragm, which held me in great stead in my acting and also all my life in public speaking. No microphones. When young, my brother studied piano and trombone and I the violin. We both sang in choirs and glee clubs. Singing is what lead me to theatre, a trained tenor, I could sing a high ‘C.’ (I sang right along with Mario Lanza’s recordings) I started college studying business, but transferred to a drama school in NYC and graduated with a Dramatic Arts degree. I worked on the stage and in ‘black & white’ live television for a year before being drafted into the US Army. I served two years, 14 months of which was in Japan. An enlisted man, off duty I taught theatre workshop classes at the invitation of the US State Department. The focus was on Western Theatre. My students were around two dozen Japanese university graduate students (in English) at the American Cultural Center in Sendai, where I was posted with the US First Cavalry. Following my military service, I returned to New York City where I took a job in the mailroom at the National Broadcasting Company at 30 Rockefeller Center. After eight months of delivering mail to executives, I was promoted into NBC’s studio production training program, working on both radio and television network programs. After a year of that, I was assigned to the Night Program Operations Department of the radio network and four months later moved up to Days. My biggest break came six months later, in March 1960 when I was moved into the position of Associate Director NBC Radio Network and began directing radio programs. The great majority of the programs were live, in entertainment and news. In early 1962, I directed NASA’s first two suborbital space flights, and then John Glenn’s ‘first American in space’ orbital space flight. Soon after, I was promoted to Supervisor of NBC Program Operations, where I remained for five years. Among the wide variety of programs I supervised or produced, my participation in our network’s coverage of the JFK assassination and funeral remains the most indelible. In late 1967, I was hired away from the radio network by NBC Television to become a TV Unit Manager, responsible for all the production and fiscal elements that go into making up a television program (unit). I began in New York doing entertainment programs and a year later I was transferred to NBC’s Washington, DC studios where I was responsible for studio and live remote broadcasts (The White House, Capitol Hill, and special events). This experience gave me the background I used when writing my first three works of fiction. During my years with NBC in New York, I studied acting and fit in professional and amateur acting jobs. In the summer of 1958, I bought a rundown rectangular shaped shack-bungalow with 40’ of lake front 35 miles west of NYC. I gutted it down to its studs and turned it into to a one room space with an open kitchen and stall shower bathroom. I had it finished when I married in June 1959. My schoolteacher wife spent our first summer there before moving into an apartment that Labor Day weekend, on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River near her school. We had a daughter and son over the next eight years and summered in our bungalow every year until we moved to Maryland in 1968. We had a second son in January 1970. Also, in 1970, I left NBC to go into radio sales, where I remained for four and a half years. I also partnered with four others to open a Dinner Theatre in Roslyn, Virginia later that same year and went on to direct six musicals. A slight depression three years later adversely effected the finances of the Dinner Theatre and we shut it down. That coincided with my leaving broadcast sales for the advertising agency side of the business. That led to my owning my own agency three years later, March 1977.