- You May Not Be Old Now But: You Are Getting There Darn Fast (2011)
- Being From The South Doesn’t Make Me Stupid! (2001)
- What if the Winner Dies (2000)
- Deadly Sacrifice (May, 1999)
by Justin Varco (SHS)
One man, a small town, a strong Southern background, and a dream, come together to make an interesting and exciting novel. Starkville writer, Jack Kean, has brought together all of these elements and that dream into a three-book contract with Genesis Press of Columbus, Mississippi. His first book, Deadly Sacrifice, is now in book stores.
Jack Curry Kean was born in Columbus, Mississippi, in 1946, on January 26. He was named after his father. Kean grew up on a dairy farm with his mother, Eloise Kean, his two sisters, brother, and father. Kean’s mother is currently living in Starkville, Mississippi, and is seventy-five years of age (Kean). Kean attended Starkville High School and participated in the following: the Latin club, S-club, and the exchange club. He also played football for four years. He was also the class president, speech club president, and student advisory council president. He graduated from Starkville High School in 1964 (SHS yearbook: 1964).
Jack Kean remained in Starkville for seven years after graduation. In 1971 he meet his wife, Louis Kean, at Mississippi State University. That same year he left Starkville to go to Oxford, Mississippi, for his law degree. In 1974, Kean graduated with a law degree from the University of Mississippi. After graduating, Kean worked as a United States Postal Inspector for the U.S. Department of Labor for five years. He later served as Inspector General. Between 1974 and 1996, Kean has lived in Atlanta, Georgia, St. Louis, Missouri, Dallas, Texas, and Fairfax, Virginia. He retired in 1996 (Sissom).
Jack Kean is presently a resident of Starkville, Mississippi, and the father of one son and one daughter. Jack Kean began writing in 1993 after retirement. As a young man, Kean always loved writing but was never serious about it until now. Kean incorporates familiar events and surroundings into his books, including his English bulldog, Wrinkles. Kean has signed a three-book contract with Genesis Press. His first book, Deadly Sacrifice, is in book stores now (May of 1999). His second book, What if the Winner Dies, is scheduled for publication in the year 2000. His third book, One Nation Divisible, is still in the process of being written (Kean, Personal interview).
What If the Winner Dies was published in 2000.While living in Starkville, Kean wrote regularly for theStarkville Daily News. A non-fiction work, Being From The South Doesn’t Make Me Stupid! was published in 2002. Kean has moved to Woodstock, Georgia.
A Review of Deadly Sacrifice
by Justin Varco (SHS)
The book Deadly Sacrifice was written by Jack Kean. This short novel begins with the main character Vernon King and his daily, after-work ritual of ice tea and cow watching. One day this daily ritual is interrupted by the burning of a small rural church. The church is attended by the blacks in the community and contains a newborn infant, who dies as the flames engulf the building. This disaster changes the small town of Purdy, Mississippi, the setting of Deadly Sacrifice.Vernon’s close friend and neighbor Bill Wall is charged with the burning of the church and the death of the infant. Vernon, being an experienced lawyer, accepts the case and his friend as his client. An old high school class mate and new resident of McKinley, Mississippi, Bob Tillman, assists Vernon with his defense. The case was originally thought to be a hate crime, but the testimony of Vanessa Wash changes everything. Vanessa is pregnant with Mark Wall’s (the son of Bill Wall) child and had given birth to the child prematurely behind the church the night of the burning. Witnesses state that Bob Wall filled two gas cans with gas the afternoon before the burning. They also place Wall at the scene of the crime just prior to the burning of the church. This evidence is enough to charge Bob Wall and send him to court. When the court verdict comes, it spells disaster. Some of the people in Purdy do not agree with the verdict and decide to take matters into their own hands. In the end many lives are lost, including Bill Wall’s, and the town of Purdy, Mississippi, will never be the same.
I found the book to be very interesting and exciting at times. Jack Kean incorporated a lot of action early in the novel. This action grabbed my attention from the start, but I think Kean may have started off too strong. He has a lot of action throughout the novel in each chapter, which left little room for a gradual build up of events. The climax in the novel is not as shocking as it could have been. I find Kean to be very imaginative and clever. In each chapter he creates a new turning point, more lying and deception, and new ironic twists to the story. Overall, I think the book is really interesting. I also believe that others will find it intriguing, and I recommend they read it for themselves.
Personal Interview with Jack Kean (1999)
by Justin Varco (SHS)
Q: When and where were you born?
A: I was born in Columbus, Mississippi, on January 26, 1946.
Q: What are your parents’ names and some brief information on them?
A: My father Jack Kean, for whom I was Named, was a small dairy farmer. He is now deceased. My mother Eloise Kean is a homemaker and still lives in Starkville today. She is seventy-nine years of age.
Q: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
A: Yes, I have one brother an d one sister. My brother’s name is Steve Kean, and he is living in Madison, Mississippi. One of my sisters, Susan Kean Ard, lives in Louisville, Mississippi, and my other sister, Rebecca Kean Starling, lives in Jackson, Mississippi.
Q: What was your childhood like?
A: I lived and worked on father’s dairy farm. We had to wake up every morning to the normal chores. I attended Starkville High School, where I graduated in 1964.
Q: Did you start to write at an early age?
A: Not really. I have enjoyed writing, but I was never truly serious about it until my retirement.
Q: What inspired you to write Deadly Sacrifice and other books?
A: I have always wanted to write a book but could never find the time or drive to do it. After retirement, my wife gave me two choices, either help with the chores or sit down and write my book. Of course I chose the book.
Q: How does one sit down and write a book?
A: Well, first one will need some thing to write about. The other thing you must have is a computer. The computer is very essential. After you have these, you write a manuscript and try to get published.
Q: How do feel about your three-book contract with Genesis Press?
A: Great! I am very excited. I signed the three-book contract back in 1998. I was definitely relieved because I thought that no one wanted to publish me. They are to publish my first book Deadly Sacrifice in May and my second book What if the Winner Dies in the year 2000. I am not finished with my third book One Nation Divisible. I wanted to write something that would interest and get people’s attention, something that they could read in a night or two andnot have to get too involved.
Kean’s English Class Appearance.
Kean was welcomed as a guest speaker to Mrs. Jacobs’s American Lit class on April 16, 1999. Kean spoke about his new book Deadly Sacrifice. He also covered subjects like how to write a novel and how to have hopes and expectations.
- Kean, Jack. http://members.xoom.com/JackKean/deadly.html, April 16, 1999.
- Kean, Jack. Personal Interview. 26 March 1999.
- Mayer ,Gregg. “Starkville Author Says Local Booksellers Essential.” The Commercial Dispatch. December 12. 1998: 3A.
- Sissom, Kris. “Local Writer Realizes Dream with Three-Book Contract.” Starkville Daily News. February 28. 1999: C-10.
- 1964 Yellow Jacket Yearbook. Starkville High School. Starkville, Mississippi:1971.