June 20, 2018
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Bangor author pens tale of whales for youngsters

By Ardeana Hamlin

BANGOR — Ken Buckley has seized the moment and published his most recent young adult novel, “Bustah and Bumpah: A Tale of Two Whales,” as an ebook through amazon.com. He said his experience of shopping his first, and as yet unpublished novel “The Blitz Pirate” around and waiting months for replies from agents and publishers wasn’t one he wanted to repeat. “I’m 80 and I can’t mess around with waiting any more,” he said.

His novel is about the conflict that arises between two villages on Penobscot Bay when two whales appear in the bay and opinions differ dramatically about what should — or should not — be done. Lighthouse keeper Nettie Beal and her two young friends lead an effort to prevent harm from coming to the whales.

“I had confidence I was telling a good enough story, so I decided to let the people decide,” he said, paused and added with a laugh, “Or it could be a marvelous flop.”

Buckley, who served as reporter and editor at the Bangor Daily News for 32 year, said he chose young adult readers as his target audience because, “I like writing about youngsters. I always look back and think about growing up and the happy times. Being a kid was a lot of fun with all it’s complexity — sharing, good will, family interaction, real happy days in life.”

Buckley grew up in England in Staffordshire, near Crewe, Birmingham and Manchester. He came to the United States in 1950 after his sister emigrated the the States. She settled on Cranberry Island after she married a former soldier she had met in England. “I was 17 when I got on the Queen Elizabeth and sailed from Southhampton. I turned 18 off the coast of France and arrived in New York City three or four days later. Among the passengers were Bing Crosby and Irving Berlin.”

“Bustah and Bumpah” is available for download at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo, iBookstore and Copia. The cost is $10. For information, email Buckley at bkeelhaul@aol.com.

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