Monthly Archives: November 2009

Paul Baker- “Prof” dies from complications of pneumonia, age 98

Paul Baker

       Paul Baker, the founding artistic director of the Dallas Theater Center and a legendary presence on the Texas theater scene, has died of complications of pneumonia.   He was 98. The former director of the drama departments at Baylor and Trinity universities died Sunday in a hospital near his Central Texas ranch near Waelder, about 70 miles southeast of Austin.   In the 1950s, Baker invented revolutionary arts training known as “integration of abilities,” which won the attention of theater artists around the world. “Irritating, arrogant, nuts — and a genius,” is how the late stage and film star Charles Laughton described director and teacher Baker.   The same man affected almost every theater hall built in Texas during the late 20th century by insisting that spectators share the theatrical space with the performers.   “In the long history of theater architecture, no single person has contributed more to its development than Paul Baker,” wrote Dallas architect Arthur Rogers. A minister’s son, Baker was born in Hereford in 1911.   His imaginative responses to the West Texas landscape deeply affected his later teaching on creativity. Baker attended Trinity University when it was still in Waxahachie and then earned his master’s degree in drama at Yale University. In 1934, Baker accepted a teaching position at Baylor, where he met and married Kitty Cardwell, a math teacher and artist who later translated his theories to children’s art and theater.   They had three children.   Two years later, Baker made a crucial voyage to England, Germany, Russia and Japan to observe theater.   Insights from this trip helped form a new Baylor theater, Studio One, which placed the audience in swivel chairs embraced by six stages.   Over the next decades, Baker would contribute to 10 other Texas theater designs that positioned the dramatic action around the halls, rather than on a 19th century-style picture frame stage. I  n 1959, Baker co-founded the Dallas Theater Center, which served as the Baylor drama department’s graduate school.   With Baker’s input, Frank Lloyd Wright designed the center, the great architect’s last building.   Baker was artistic director for 23 years, promoting many performers and playwrights along the way.   By the early 1980s, Baker was tangling with the Dallas theater group’s board of directors.   He wanted to retain the educational approach; they preferred an Equity union theater with well-known stars.   In 1982, he resigned, and that spelled the end of the Baker era in Texas.   His innovative Baylor theater was torn down, his Trinity theater severely altered. In Austin during the late 1980s, Baker directed Preston Jones’ “The Oldest Living Graduate” at the Paramount Theatre and his own adaptation “Hamlet ESP” at Hyde Park Theatre.   Austin philanthropists Ernest and Sarah Butler, for whom the University of Texas School of Music and Ballet Austin’s Eduction Center are named, were students of Baker’s.   His “integration of abilities” inspires them to this day.   Baker was awarded the Texas Medal of Arts in 2007 for his contributions to arts education.   Baker is survived by his wife, Kitty, and three children, Robyn, founder of Dallas Children’s Theater; Retta, a former executive with the American-Statesman; and Sallie, who teaches theater and writing in Denver.   A Dallas memorial will be held in early December at the Children’s Theater’s Rosewood Center for Family Arts.   Donations to the Children’s Theater or another charity are requested in lieu of flowers.Share E-mail Visit Guest Book

       Published in Austin American-Statesman from October 26 to November 13, 2009 Printprint


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Kris Neri Author- HIGH CRIMES ON THE MAGICAL PLANE, Fiction- Mystery/Fantasy


      by Kris Neri  Fiction- Mystery/Fantasy  ISBN: 978-0-9766733-5-4  $16.95

      Imagine the surprise of scam psychic Samantha Brennan- when she encounters the real thing- that’s right: an honest-to heavens Celtic goddess, hidden beneath the steely exterior of FBI Special agent Annabelle Haggerty.  Yet Annabelle’s magical powers might not be enough when America’s sweet and sexy movie star, Molly Claire, is made the centerpiece of a gangland siege that brings the city of Angels to its knees.  And if Annabelle and her family of deities are no match of the Demon of Darkness that she believes is masterminding LA’s own Armageddon- what chance does a poor little fake like Samantha have? 


      “…delicious; a funny, pell-mell romp of an adventure rife with psychics, FBI agents and clowns.”- Diana Gabaldon, NYT Bestselling author of the OUTLANDER series

      “…a lighhearted but perceptive story of what happens when a fake psychic and panache meets a genuine goddess with no flair whatsoever.  You’ll enjoy the unlikely twists and turns…and both charactgers are delightful.”- Charlaine Harris, NYT Bestselling author of SOOKIE STOCKHOUSE series (basis for the HBO series, TRUE BLOOD).

      “More fun than an overstuffed clown car!  Kris Neri turns the paranormal on its head with a phony psychic, Celtic goddess, a missing movies star, oh yeah…and clowns!”- Casey Daniels, author of DEAD MAN TALKING

      “Mystery and magic!  Plus a little romance!  What more can one want?  HIGH CRIMES ON THE MAGICAL PLANE not only delivers that and more, but is a fresh, new take on the paranormal.” – Shirley Damsgaard, author of THE WITCH’S GROVE

      Kris Neri is the author of the Agatha, Anthony and Macavity Award- nominated Tracy Eaton mysteries, REVENGE OF THE GYPSY QUEEN, DEM BONES’ REVENGE and the forthcoming REVENGE FOR OLD TIMES’ SAKE.  Her other books include NEVER SAY DIE and THE ROSE IN THE SNOW.  She has published sixty short stories and is a two-time Derringer Award-winner and a two-time Pushcart Prize-nominee for her short mystery fiction.  With her husgband, Kris owns The Well Red Coyote bookstore in Sedona, arizona.  Iris is a hard at work on the next title in this, MAGICAL ALIENATION.  Readers can reach her through her website, 

      Red Coyote Press

      P.O. Box 60582

      Phoenix, Arizona 85082

       For more information, contact the publisher at 602-454-7815 or



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      B. J. Kurtz



      THE CURSE OF ATLANTIS takes place on a planet where Atlantis has been given a second chance at life.  Members of the country accuse a small child of being their curse due to her unique ability to transform into a wolf.  A king, wishing to regain power, murders her family, and places her into the army to be exploited in a devastating war.  Knowing that an innocent life is in danger, a religious-centered committee calls upon the only man capable of handling such a challenge. 

      As he hestantly takes the assignment, he will find himself fighting against the numerous kings who control Atlantis, while performing his job within the army and pleasing the wishes of the watchful commitee.  Together, thses two lost souls will try to find their way through times of turmoil without falling victim to the curse’s short legacy and the child’s forgotten past. 


      THE LORD OF NIGHTMARES asks what if the world has haunted by a supernatural beings who toy with people’s lives for sport.  Madison never questioned events in her life until her friend, David, commits suicide.  Years later, a man walks into her life with answers to all her questions, but this is no ordinary man.  He is the Lord of Nightmares, part of a supenatural species conducting the ultimate game of wit with human pawns.

      Madison will find the answers to her questions come at a price.  When what is a stake is her soul, Madison has no room for error as she enters a game of wit against the lord, best of his kind.  Before the game is over, Madison will come to understand that one one question is worth asking: What will I do to survive? 

      BJ Kurtz discovered her passion for writing at an early age.  Her first full-length novel was started when she was in high school.  She studied Plato’s works on Atlantis as well as Greek mythology in order to strengthen the novel.  She is curently teaching and sharing her passion to her students and teaching them to apply a creative edge to their writing.

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      by Patrick Lavin

      “In the magnificent fierce morning of New Mexico one sprang awake, a new part of the soul woke up suddenly, and the old world gave away to the new.”- D. H. Lawrence

      Known as the “Land of Enchantment,” New Mexico is living witness to the coexistence of Native American, Spanish, and Anglo civilizations.  In NEW MEXICO: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY, Patrick Lavin takes an all-inclusive approach to New Mexico’s past by vividly reconstructing the state’s key historical events in a concise and accessible format. 

      Citing fascinating material from newspapers, journals, and personal accounts of pioneers and explorers, this compelling volume relates the arrival of the Paleo-Indians, Spanish exploration and colonization, the Mexican-American War and subsequent territorial period, as New Mexico’s early statehood and the post-World War II era.  Today, New Mexico continues to inspire visitors and artists who come to pay tribue to the state’s magnificent natural beauty and cultural heritage. 

      With more than 50 illustrations, photographs, and maps, NEW MEXICO: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY provides a thorough and lively historical overview that revals the heart and soul of this fascinating southwestern state. 

      Patrick Lavin was born in Ireland.  An avid history enthusiast, he spends his retirment years researching and writing historical books and articles.  His published works include CELTIC IRELAND WEST OF THE RIVER SHANNON (2003), ARIZONA: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY (Hippocrene Books, 2001), THE CELTIC WORLD: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY 700 BC TO THE PRESENT (hIPPOCRENE BOOKS, 1999) and THANK YOU IRELAND (1994).  Lavin is a graduate of California State University, Northridge, and retired from a career with the federal govenment.  He currently makes his home in Tucson, Arizona 


      Patrick Lavin

      $14.95 paperback: ISBN 13:978-0-7818-1053-1; ISBN 10:0-7818-1053-1

      260 pages; 51/2 x 81/2; Publication date: March 2008 

      Review Copies & Interviews, contact Tracy Liaw: Email: 

      Order Dept:  Phone: 718-454-2366 


      Hippocrene Books, Inc 

      171 Madison Avenue.  New York, NY 10016  Tel: 212-685-4371


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      HOLLIDAY IN TOMBSTONE  (ISBN 978-1-932695-69-4)

      Part two of S.M Ballard’s DOC HOLLIDAY TRILOGY

      John Henry “Doc” Holliday, Georgia gentleman, dentist turned gambler, a consumptive whose days are numbered follows his friend, Wyatt Earp to the boomtown of Tombstone, Arizona Territory.  From the moment Holliday sets foot on the dusty Tombstone streets, his path as a lawman is set.  Time and again he risks life and safety for his friends and for justice, taking on the likes of Curly Bill Brocious and Johnny Ringo, leaders of a gang of fuffians known collective as “The Cowboys.”

      Don’t miss part one of S. M. Ballard’s Doc. Holliday Trilogy BORROWED TIME  (ISBM 978-1-932695-52-6)

      In the days before they became legends, John Henry “Doc” Holliday, a Georgia dentist turned gambler whose constant companion is the specter of early death, and Wyatt Earp, a rough hewn frontier lawman saddled with a taciturn nature and an iron clad sense of justic, forge an unlikely alliance to hunt down the brutal killers of a young Dodge City woman. 

      During the course of a cross country manhunt to stop the murderers before they can strike again, Holliday and Earp form the basis of a friendship that will last literally unto death. 

      BOROWED TIME and HOLLIDAY IN TOMBSTON available at:  and through your favorite bookstore. 


      A Sundowners Western Selction

      Sundowners is a division of Treble Heart Books  Sierra Vista, Arizona

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Steve Brown Author- SOL Y SOMBRA, short stories from the Sonoran Desert


      Short Stories from the Sonoran Desert

      by Steve Brown

      From the intriguing desert of the Southwest, Arizona native Steve Brown brings forth a unique collection of stories that connect the lives of two families with a rugged land and with each other in SOL Y SOMBRA. 

      From Tiny Island Press (

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Miriam Orr Seymour Author- THE AROUND THE RIM FLIGHT, a historical flight

      The year was 1919.   The flight had all the earmarks of failure.  The aeroplane was the first American designed and built medium bomber the Army Air Service had bought. 

      The durability of it airframe was unknown.  The reliability of its 400 hp Packard Liberty motors was uncertain.  The plans described the operation as a “test flight” and the planners themselves regarded it as totally hazardous venture with little chance of success.

      Three officers and two master sergeants rode in unheated open pits without parachutes.  They logged 9,823 miles, re-built the aeroplane in an open field after their one and only crash landing, demonstrated the potential of air travel to citizens of 46 cities and established the beginnings of formal air routes.  Their efforts gave impetus to the development of aerial charts, aviation weather service, and many of the other tools of modern flying. 

      Using the actural log of the Flight, Seymour has created a day-by-day account of events that is a tribute to the men who built the aeroplane and its motors and the men of the Army Air service.  It is a dramatic reminder that determination, courage, and ingenuity have always been bhasic values for the people of these United States. 


      by Miriam Orr Seymour 

     155 pages- Hardcover ISBN 0-917882-52-0

      Purchase from:  Barnes & Noble Book Stores;  $24.95


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