Ken Beckley is Hoosier born and lived. A professional communicator throughout his adult life, Ken became an author in retirement. His first two novels are set in the fictional southwestern Indiana county of Hopewell, and his characters are reflective of his small-town roots.
Ken was a broadcast journalist and a marketing professional. He is an accomplished public speaker. Approaching retirement, he decided to set a decades-long desire to write fiction as a goal. Part of his “bucket list,” if you will. His life had been that of writing from facts – news stories, news releases, marketing brochures, broadcast commercials, print advertisements, speeches.
His first novel, Knuckleball: The Uncertainties of (a) Life, published in 2012, was well-received and engendered reader comments that inspired Ken to write An Act of Frustration in 2016.
Knuckleball is about the life of Davie Miller who dreamed of a major league baseball career but experienced one of life’s dreaded knuckleballs. Strengthened by faith in the face of numerous tragedies, Davie lived a life of inspiration while excelling in a public relations career until an unexpected gift led to his original dream. He accepts an opportunity to join a major league baseball team for spring training, which leads to a stunning ending of the story. (You won’t guess it.)
An Act of Frustration is the story of Charlie Simpson, a small-town hardware store owner who becomes so frustrated by at least a decade of gridlock/inactions by Congress (some would say “do-nothing Congress”) that in the spring of 2016 he rallies other business owners behind a simple plan. Unbeknownst to him, the plan goes viral, sweeps the nation, is fueled by murder, and culminates with the greatest political revolution in the U.S. since the nation’s fight for independence. But Charlie Simpson paid a terrible personal price.
As with Knuckleball, An Act of Frustration will eventually grip and hold the reader to the end. Unlike the standard novel size of Knuckleball, An Act of Frustration is only 110 pages, a pleasant one or two-evening read.
Ken was born in Lynnville (Warrick County), Indiana and received a B.S. degree in broadcast journalism from Indiana University. He had a 14-year career in television news, as reporter and anchor. He was a member of one of the first two-person anchor teams in Indiana and is an inductee in the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame.
Ken made the transition into public relations as the first director of university relations for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, then enjoyed a stellar career as executive vice president of Indiana-based appliances and electronics retailer H.H. Gregg where his chief responsibilities were marketing and customer relations while also serving as corporate spokesperson to the public and in radio and television commercials.
In total, he has been a public figure on television for four decades.
Following retirement and based on decades of volunteer service to Indiana University, he was named President & Chief Executive Officer of the Indiana University Alumni Association, a position he held until retirement again and the launching of his new career as a novelist.
A life-long civic volunteer, Ken’s highest honors include the Distinguished Alumni Service Award and the President’s Medal for Excellence from Indiana University and the Sagamore of the Wabash award bestowed by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.
Ken is an avid golfer and enjoys watching baseball and thoroughbred horse racing.
He and his wife, Audrey, have two children, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.