chaos. When it came time to go to school, disregarding the recommendation of school officials, my father insisted that I be enrolled in regular classes. Thanks dad! After testing, I was put directly into the first grade. What the hell! I missed the fun and games of kindergarten. For this reason, I was always the youngest member of the class. Given my vision limitations, I also always had a front row seat even when seating was alphabetical. Sort of the odd letter out.
You all know what is said about the youngest child. As the youngest of three I kept up the tradition of being a risk taker and wiseass. In the Bronx this often leads to some unpleasant consequences. My mother was ill for a number of years and died when I was twelve. Sadly, my father became an alcoholic. Found on my own, I developed a strong sense of independence. Some call it stubbornness.
While in college I earned my shodan (black belt) in karate. My father thought I was nuts risking injury with only one good eye. He should have been thinking about the other guy because with only one good eye, I have no depth perception. You should have seen his reaction when I began playing ice-hockey.
After graduating St. Peter's College, I entered the exciting, uh, stressful, demanding, unforgiving, fantastic world of advertising. Through the years, I worked on some of the world's biggest accounts, met famous personalities, been fired, worked seven days a week, and met my wife—Phyllis. Because she was a modern dancer I found myself with a second career as a techie and stage manager of a dance company in New York City. By day planning advertising campaigns and by night stringing lights and running up the curtain. Sleep—it's over-rated.
We always talked about adoption and after nine years of marriage gave each other toys for Christmas. A clear indication that it was time. Robin Yung-Shim our first daughter arrived from Korea September 1982. I learned to change diapers, worry, do middle of the night feedings, worry, play with dolls, worry, and feel like the luckiest man alive. In July, 1988 we welcomed our second daughter Nancy Raine home. Clan Munkens has been a miracle for which I am grateful every day.
The tides come and go in the world of advertising and we moved a number of times. My first novel, Downtown Dreams, was published in June, 2000. We've settled in Matthews, NC and I established Munkens Consulting. My desire had always been to do more for clients than typical advertising agencies were capable of doing. After both of our daughters graduated from college I found I finally had more time to pursue writing.
The response from readers has been overwhelming and greatly appreciated. My goal has always been to write interesting, unpredictable, thought-provoking stories worth a person's time. With five novels completed, I continue to be driven to create new worlds and introduce unforgettable characters that leave readers wishing the story could continue. Through writing, I've lived six lives and will continue to share the rare creative perspective my mind seems so eager to present.
All-in-all my life has been one heck of a ride and I wouldn't have missed it if given the opportunity. I look forward to reading the next page.
A storyteller with an unpredictably creative mind. There is nothing common about his work. Known for his complex stories populated with multi-dimensional characters he takes readers on an emotional and intellectual journey whose destination is unpredictable.
Enter the world that Munkens creates at your own risk. His stories will make you laugh, cry, smile, wonder, and care. Empathy serves him well as he understands the wide range of emotions involved in human relationships. His
humor will sneak up on you while your heart will be stung by a depth of emotion so rare these days.
Character development is an art perfected by this author. He creates real human beings that stay with you long after you finish reading. Readers often state that they feel as though they know the characters as well as they know their friends and relatives. Many long for a sequel to continue to follow the lives of characters with whom they have become attached.
Novels by Kenneth J Munkens
Copyright July 16, 2018
Advertising, often called a game, is in fact a tough and unforgiving business. It devours its young and abandons its old. Yet, the allure of being creative and endlessly challenged attracts the young, the vital, the energetic, the rebels, and the naïve. They all labor tirelessly on the treadmill of the mind, captives of their own ambitions and dreams. But truth be known, dreams travel the same paths as nightmares.
Downtown Dreams is an intriguing and imaginative look at this exciting world of contradictions and creativity and what happens when passion for an art collides with unbridled greed. It offers a fascinating look at what makes people tick and what makes them explode.
Copyright November, 2016
A patch of black ice sets in motion life-changing events as a father and daughter search for meaning in a world turned upside down. Music, the universal language, relates the haunting story of a young girl with a violin and a secret. Sometimes as complex as a symphony or simple as a child’s tune, her story is one of hope, disappointment, passion, courage, and the power of the human spirit. Just as black ice can sneak up on you, words in this tale will unexpectedly touch your heart and long be remembered.
Rude Awakening in 1969
Copyright June 15, 2017
1969 was a year unlike any other. In fact, if a writer fashioned together the events of that year into a novel it would have come across as totally unbelievable. However, what took place was real and the world changed as a result. Rude Awakening in 1969 is an epic adventure with this remarkable year as the backdrop. The tale begins in 1963 with a disaster at sea that portends future events. As 1969 unfolds, a malicious wide- reaching peril comes into focus and the evil men, and women, are capable of demonstrated. Little by little the picture develops. Surprise, unanticipated turns of events, and misdirection are all devices used to keep the story interesting, realistic, and impactful. Much like in life, you’ll find out when you get there without any hints or previews. In the end, you will have experienced 1969 as if you were there and shared the stage with characters you come to personally know and remember.
Copyright February 3, 2019
You never know when or where it will strike. So, maybe it’s time to strike back. But, how? The answer lies in Satan’s Shadow, if you have the courage to enter. Those who do find that it’s darker than dark in Satan’s Shadow.
This is a tale of those brave souls who saw the harsh realities, entered the dragon’s lair, and uncovered evil beyond their imagination.
Copyright January 16, 2020
2076AD is fiction. It is not science fiction. However, our world is changing at an accelerated pace, which means the unbelievable today can be commonplace tomorrow or in 2076AD. Technology, education, politics, religion, medicine, social attitudes, and nature will all shape a future many of us are destined to not see. Yet, what has happened in history and what we do today lays the foundation for tomorrow. We are creating 2076AD.
We invite you to take a look at where the united states of America will be on her 300th birthday. It is a glimpse into our future. The world you encounter might be one you welcome or one that you dread. Your reaction will be a reflection of your beliefs, philosophy, and values. George is living in 2076AD. More accurately, he is awakening and finding himself in a struggle that can have world changing impact.
If anything is true it is the fact that you can neither plan your life nor predict the future. So, live it and enjoy the good times, endure the tragedies, and, by God, find yourself.
I was born in the Bronx the day after the buses began to run following the blizzard of 1947-48. Congenital cataracts left me with limited eyesight. At the age of 4, they removed the cataract in my right eye. Unfortunately, complications caused nerve damage. My left eye became dominant. Now, those who adhere to the left brain/right brain theory would conclude that in that case I would be logical. Quite true—I am. However, in the darkness of night some of my brain cells crossed the border and entered the world of creativity on the right side. As a result, I have a highly developed creative side. You would enjoy my adventure dreams. As one doctor observed, what I fail to see my brain fills in. The start of the
“It made me laugh, cry, and want to shout out loud.”
Dr. Larry R.
“I found it difficult to stop reading once I had begun. I think this would make an excellent movie and I would be really interested in reading a sequel to the book.” Jennifer Y.
"I just finished reading “Black Ice” and I must say it really tugged at my heart. It was great. I admire your work so very much. Looking forward to the next one. Keep up the great work. You are very talented!"
"I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story. If you lived through 1969, you will be amazed at what you forgot or never knew. If you were born in 1969, it is an accurate history for your birth year and a peek into the way people lived. If you love facts, history, sports, music, and trivia, you will not be disappointed."
“I cannot describe to you how much I enjoyed your novel. I do very little reading for leisure, possibly because I have convinced myself that I am much too busy to sit down with a book. However, after reading your novel, you have converted me into an individual that is reading much more than he ever thought. I found myself not being able to set your novel down; I always thrived to find out what happened next, this is what a great novel consists of to me.”
“The book Downtown Dreams by Kenneth J Munkens leaves its readers with a story that they will never be able to forget.”
“I think what I liked most about the novel was the way the author kept the reader in suspense. He split up the scenes in a way that left the reader wanting to read more in order to find out what was going to happen.”
“This book really takes a look at life and the many trials that come along with it, good and bad. It shows the good that lives in each of us and also the evil.”
“The writer pulled the reader into the lives of characters like a magnet.”
“The characters are so real, I feel like I know them.”