I was possibly the first e-book author Denise Fleischer interviewed for Gotta Write Network. At the time, I released only a few books, such as “Dothan” and “Everyone Loves A Scandal.” Passing through a couple e-book publishers and articles sites before landing at Amazon Kindle. Within a year or so, I got on the 99 cent gravy train and put out a succession of Kindle books in short order. For better or worse, I now have many books on Amazon. Yet, in some way, they each furthered me to current point. Including a very small breakout success with Gene L. Coon: The Unsung Hero of Star Trek.
Coon is often the forgotten writer-producer that made The Original Star Trek what it was. While Gene Roddenberry created the initial concepts, Coon almost single handedly devised The Klingons. He also had a hand in developing the villain Khan for the episode, ’’Space Seed’’. Any notion of Starfleet, The United Federation of Planets, and Warp Technology also belong to him. In addition to the bickering dynamic between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. As the latter two debate logic versus emotion with Kirk trying to reason between the two and choose a third, more balanced, option.
Other than a few tidbits and factoids, not much was known about Coon’s non-Star Trek life or career. For over six months, I scr7ounged obscure archives through Newspapers.com. Mostly The Beatrice Daily Sun in his native Beatrice, Nebraska and The Los Angeles Times, in the obvious locale where he had most of his success. I found various details dating back to the late 1920’s. Where he began singing on the Omaha radio station WOAW-AM at four years old. Knowing 24 songs, including one in German and one in French. He also became a teenage newscaster at KWBE in Beatrice before relocating to Glendale, California at age 14 with his family.
He served stateside in World War II as a member of The U.S. Marine Corps, also a reserve in the postwar era. Coon was later deployed to Korea, continuing as newscaster and even trained as a pharmacist and housebuilder. After returning from the war, he served as a reporter in Las Vegas covering Atomic Bomb tests. Also managed his own pharmacy in Los Angeles. He spent the next decade writing many scripts for film and television. Even penning a couple novels, “Meanwhile Back At The Front” and “The Short End of The Stick,” based on his time as a Marine.
Typically, I promote my books on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, resulting in a small smattering of sales. Yet with Gene L. Coon, I went from having almost no sales for two years to this very book unexpectedly becoming my #5 seller within a month of its release. It has since been on display at an event honoring Coon in his hometown.