Steven L. Kent
Steven L. Kent is the author of The Clone Republic, The Ultimate History of Video Games, and the upcoming children’s book Melanie Medusa Madison.
Born in California and raised in Hawaii, Kent served as a missionary for the LDS Church between the years of 1979 and 1981. During that time, he worked as a Spanish-speaking missionary serving migrant farm workers in southern Idaho.
While Kent earned a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in communications from Brigham Young University, he claims that his most important education came from life.
Many of the lessons he learned from the Mexican field workers in Idaho have appeared in his stories. Later, from 1986 through 1988, Kent worked as a telemarketer selling TV Guide and Inc. Magazine. His years on the phone helped him develop an ear for speech patterns that has been well-reflected in dialog in his stories.
As a boy growing up in Honolulu in the 1960s, Kent developed a unique perspective. He spent hours torch fishing and skin diving. He tried his hand at surfing and boxing. All of these interests have worked their way into his writing.
In 1987, Kent reviewed the Stephen King novels Misery and The Eyes of the Dragon for the Seattle Times. A diehard Stephen King fan, Kent later admitted that he pitched the reviews to the Times so that he could afford to buy the books.
In 1993, upon returning to Seattle after a five-year absence, Kent pitched a review of “virtual haunted houses” for the Halloween issue of the Seattle Times. He reviewed the games The Seventh Guest, Alone in the Dark, and Legacy. Not only did this review land Kent three free PC games, it started him on a new career path.
By the middle of 1994, when Kent found himself laid off from his job at a PR agency, he became a full-time freelance journalist. He wrote monthly pieces for the Seattle Times along with regular features and reviews for Electronic Games, CD Rom Today, ComputerLife, and NautilusCD. In later years, he would write for American Heritage, Parade, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and many other publications. He wrote regular columns for MSNBC, Next Generation, the Japan Times, and the Los Angeles Times Syndicate.
In 2000, Kent self-published The First Quarter: A 25-year History of Video Games. That book was later purchased and re-published as The Ultimate History of Video Games by the Prima, Three River Press, and Crown divisions of Random House.
During his career as a games journalist, Kent wrote the entries on video games for Encarta and the Encyclopedia Americana. At the invitation of Senator Joseph Lieberman, Kent has spoken at the annual Report Card on Video Game Violence in Washington D.C.
In 2005, Kent announced his semi-retirement from video games so that he could concentrate on writing novels. Though he still writes a monthly column for Boy’s Life, he has mostly concentrated his efforts on writing novels since that time. His first efforts in science fiction, The Clone Republic and Rogue Clone were published by Ace Book in 2006.
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