where the writers are
Douglas Keister My Quest to Avoid a Real Job

Well, I just signed a contact for my THIRTY-SIXTH book. I'm not bragging, mind you (Margaret Mitchell only needed to write ONE book to get noticed) I'm quite happy that the folks here at Redroom have allowed me to participate with real bona fide writers. I started scratching out a living as a photographer for books and became a photographer AND writer because I really wanted to make a living doing this and having to share half the royalties with a writer put a crimp on my ambitions. So, now I'm a writer and photographer. An ex-agent of mine said I had a gift for storytelling and I guess I sort of believed him.At first I was a hired gun; photographing those "painted ladies" books on muticolored Victorians; graduated to collaborating on a series of books on bungalows (The Bungalow, Inside the Bungalow, Outside the Bungalow and 8 wee books on bungalow details) Eventually I struck out on my own when I did most of the writing and all the photography for a book on funerary architecture titled Going Out in Style: The Architecture of Eternity (fabulous title). Then I wrote and photographed books on vintage trailers, cemetery symbolism and on and on. I suppose my literary resume looks pretty eclectic, but ultimately all the books are about preservation whether it takes on the color of architecture or family traditions.


That brings me to book 36. It's a children's book set in the village of Tongli, China a few miles distant from Suzhou. It's about a couple kids planting a tree. I shot the photographs on the same trip I did a different children's story in Beijing (I'm not so secretly hoping Amy takes a look). The book, To Grandmother's House is on my new releases area.

I'll make an effort on this BLOG to post a few thoughts on the dismal state of the photography business (second only to the woes of writers) as time goes on. I 'm also willing to answer questions about being a photographer-writer. Today it's a good thing. Tomorrow..well, that's tomorrow. What did I do today? I wrote an essay about what my experiences were with sex in Lincoln, Nebraska in the 1950's. It was a very short essay for the obvious reason that their was no sex in Lincoln, Nebraska in the 1950's. But I emailed it to my agent and she thought it was great (maybe because it was short).