How I Came to Write Plagueman

I started out writing Plagueman back in the 1980s seeking to comprehend the meaning of nuclear holocaust. A 1950s "duck-and-cover" bomb-baby, I grew up in constant fear of the Atom Bomb and impending atomic war. In my short story "The Chairs" (sold to Eldritch Tales, 2/14/92) I recounted such terrors in the context of my native San Francisco. As I studied philosophy, art, history, I wondered, "How did others cope in the face of such terror and seemingly imminent universal annihilation?" I found a parallel to our radioactive nightmares in the plague year--the age of the Black Death (1347- ).

With the possible exception of Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year, Albert Camus' The Plague, and Steven King's The Stand, most other related techno-thriller novels and movies tell about how we humans survive, overcome, and conquer ever obstacle: whether the plague, a deadly virus, alien spawn, Martian attack, the malfunction of the Earth's core. Plagueman, on the other hand, is more about how to go on in the every-day, how to live real life in an age of plague, to not just survive but to stand strong in a time of terror without losing one's humanity -- and compassion.

Plagueman is carefully researched, both concerning medieval medicine and the effects of the plague, and concerning details of 14th century life in Tuscany and at the Papal Court of Avignon.

In all my work, I follow the guidelines of The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing (Miller & Swift, New York, 1988). In May, 1999, I sold my science fiction novel KillWare to VirtuaBooks Publishing, now marketed by The KillWare Chronicles: KillWare & The Wastes are available from ArcheBooks Publishing, both as ebooks and in a single hardcover volume. Coming out in 2012, KillWare III: The Accidental Prisoner.

A husband, father and homemaker, I freelance articles and book reviews to various magazines, online and off. I've been an art docent in the public schools, writer for the Peace With Justice Commission of the Central New York Episcopal Diocese (1984-1989), taught seminars in philosophy of art at the Northwest College of Art ("Why Philosophy of Art Matters," Spring 2001) and Trumeau College Of The Arts and other venues, am an active member of a local writers group and the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce, drink too much coffee by day and Chianti by night, and lead occasional gatherings of local artists called Xian Serious Art Gatherings.

K.D.Kragen (2004 A.C.E.)