"Each generation should have its own Mark Twain... this generation could lay claim to Jerry Engler"
--Bob Spear, reviewer for Heartland Reviews.
Jerry Engler is the author of three books, two of them books of fiction short stories, Just Folks: Earthy Tales of the Prairie Heartland and A Heartland Voice: Just Folks Two , available at Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.com.
His third book, Highly Embellished Truth and Some Poetry: Just Folks Three, which includes both fiction short stories and poetry, was published in December, 2008.
He grew up on a family farm southwest of Topeka with a large extended family an important part of his life. His home area countryside was predominantly farmland back then rather than suburbs.
He was an avid reader often finishing at least one book a week, sometimes more.
He says he was destined to get an education because there was always a library in his classroom when he decided regular classes weren't interesting enough. He'd not only read every dog and horse book by the time he left elementary school, but also all of the Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and other great classic novels the libraries had.
Jerry says, "I also liked to watch birds and animals, and they'll teach you a lot. Nothing beats an hour under a shade tree for inspiration and perspiration if there's no breeze."
He and his wife, Belinda, have lived in rural situations for their adult lives with kids,generations of dogs, horses and cats, and other animals.
Their home now is two miles from where the Cottonwood River flows into Marion Reservoir, a location where visitors watch flocks of white pelicans in summer and bald eagles in winter.It's a good setting for Belinda's work in giving "horsemanship" lessons with her Welsh ponies and Morgan/Arabian horses...a place to mentor kids.
Jerry says it's a place where coyotes and bobcats compete to outnumber the people."
Jerry has a B.S. from Kansas State University, and did graduate work both there and at the University of Missouri where he says he finished with a marriage license.
He has written extensively for daily newspapers, weekly newspapers and magazines with thousands of articles written especially for readers in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas. His commitment to authenticity probably received a boost because he started professionally as a research news writer for the University of Missouri.
"I thought 100 column inches published in a semester was a lot when they told me I had to do that for a college course. In the newspaper business, 100 column inches published weekly wasn't a lot at all."
He says, "There's no education that can beat the booms and busts of life," and his stories seem to reflect that. The short stories in his three books are known for their authenticity, humor, unique style, vivid description, warmth, and understanding of both nature and human behavior.
Critics and fans are saying that is why they call him "The Voice of the Heartland."
Jerry tells people that "most of my stories are either highly embellished truth or complete concoctions. That's how the title for my third book came about, Highly Embellished Truth & Some Poetry. The fun part for me is that people usually can't tell the difference. I have yet to have anyone tell me I write some pretty good lies.
"People also tell me my stories uplift them. I like that.
"I also like fiction because it allows the space to crunch the English language, and play with it.
"But just when I thought short stories defined me, they introduced me as the poet, Jerry Engler."
Birth Place: Topeka, KS USA
Accomplishments: Jerry has received recognition many times, he feels most notably an award for poetry from Kansas State University. He was selected to speak and read at the governor's first annual convention for the book, and has been marked as a favorite speaking to library groups. He has set records three times at the state fair which gives him the "market verification" he likes. Book stores frequently say he is their best "author signer" meeting the public.
Other than that he says his greatest reward is hearing back from readers who enjoyed his stories. "I like to hear that one of my stories made someone feel good, or gave them a special insight--or simply gave them a good chuckle at the moment.
"At the fair this year, I heard from a California man that he saw my books on the tables at a small-town Southern Utah restaurant for the customers to read the short stories while waiting. I think that's really neat. It's the kind of news I like to hear.
"I don't like to enter contests, and try not to do so unless it is something that you are automatically in to belong to a group. I want my stories to be written with the people in mind, and not because of the requirements of a contest."
His books have been selected as finalists for Kansas Notable Books.
Short Stories Oswald K. Underfoot finds a firefight treasure by Jerry W. Engler This is another in a series of Oswald K. Underfoot stories,a character who origninally was introduced when Leon Gambel hired him to get what was killing his sheep, which turned out to be a cougar that... The Hanging of the Greens by Jerry W. Engler OK boys and girls. Here's a holiday special whether you're preparing for Thanksgiving or Christmas, guaranteed to give a heartfelt tightening to your throat clear up through your ears. Funny how AD ... Payback Time' for Mean Dean by Jerry W. Engler This is a story born of a hope that all the mean guys get what's coming to them without necessarily killing them.... The St. Louie Bird Call by Jerry W. Engler Our Bird encounters the Teamsters in an old trucking story that shows what it was like to be in St. Louis during a union strike.
It also is a commentary on how to live life asking the pivotal que... A Flower Girl Sister Surprise by Jerry W. Engler This is a story that studies what people might do for each other outside the realm of usual expectation. It is among stories that I wrote, and then rejected until they could be rewritten. Feel free to... One of our own by Jerry W. Engler An old Indian celebrates the casinos, and ends up with more than casino interest.... Ignacio rode by Jerry W. Engler Who was Ignacio? That is for you to decide for yourself....
Poetry NightWake by Jerry W. Engler The poem's description most likely will suffice.... Mercy, My Own by Jerry W. Engler Let's call this a different sort of prayer for Thanksgiving.... My Room by Jerry W. Engler My room is not like your room although it's a little like your room with different beginnings and arrangements.... When Dark Chaos Overcomes Me by Jerry W. Engler Sometimes in the dark pit of depression, the Lord himself may reach to pull us out, "our good and constant friend." I recommend you read Proverbs Three. ... Endure, Endure, and Endure by Jerry W. Engler I've had my down times, too, and the cold of winter doesn't always help. But, I'm still here, and you're still here, and my hope is that you'll join me in saying we're going to be here some more... Oh my father by Jerry W. Engler This is a prayer for a veteran who thinks he can go to hell for being in war.... Puppy Love Roast by Jerry W. Engler If you don't like coffee, dogs or grumpy old men, you might want to skip this poem. ...
Articles Conniving My Retirement by Jerry W. Engler This is one of Jerry's columns from the Hillsboro Free Press. The newspaper copyrighted it, but permission is hereby granted to reprint it if credit is given to the Free Press and Jerry. Now that's qu... Geo-referencing Soil pH for Liming by Jerry W. Engler New technologies lead to more changes plus keep the environment cleaner.... Mexican Retriever, Huh by Jerry W. Engler You want to have an opinion, you go see for yourself. A Jerry Engler column from the Hillsboro Free Press.... A Fair Love Affair by Jerry W. Engler This is part of the "how come I do so well at fairs," and maybe it can help another author. When autumn came in Topeka, I was always ready for the fair.... Well, There's a Power Struggle by Jerry W. Engler Gee, it seems the less effort I put into something, the better I'm liked--kind of like gun-slinging with such a loose holster, you shoot yourself in the foot.... Author Youtubed by Jerry W. Engler OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!... Winter for the Birds by Jerry W. Engler Here's an article for all the bird lovers who may want to see some different things over the holidays and winter season....
News Jerry Engler's Just Folks now on Kindle by Jerry W. Engler First book on Amazon Kindle.... Authors Galore by Jerry W. Engler Jerry Engler took part in a massive book signing.... Author Youtubed by Jerry W. Engler Jerry is known for a gentle, unique voice that people find memorable, if not frightening. All they told him was to talk about his books for four minutes without any directions as to where to look. May... Combat Troops Reading Books by Jerry W. Engler Jerry Engler's Just Folks books of short stories sent to soldiers are gaining readership.... Engler signs at state fair by Jerry W. Engler Jerry Engler is signing books for the public at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson.... Book Distribution Increased by Jerry W. Engler A new distribution total has been set.... Engler Guest Speaker by Jerry W. Engler Professional writers will come to Wichita to hear Jerry Engler talk about how and why he writes the way he does, and about the way he does business. They say they are actually excited about it??...
I came to AD with a reputation as a short story writer and newspaper journalist. Although I drew praise as a poet back in the 1980's, I also have been a magazine editor. I had stopped pursuing it. AD has stimulated me to return to poetry, and I am very pleased with the way it has been received. My poem, Oh my Father, appeared in many newspapers for Veterans' Day. Now I also have had the experience of reading it as a eulogy at my father's funeral.
The poet laureate of the State of Kansas, has offered my poetry rare praise.
I still consider myself primarily a story teller. I am pleased that book sales are beginning to verify my work as worthy with readers. The far reach of my work has surprised me. I didn't anticipate that people in Europe and other parts of the world would read my work. . I now know that my books have gone to The United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Canada and Australia as well as in many states. I didn't know that people in urban areas of the United States would like it, and respond to it as much as they have. I expected older readership, but I also have been surprised by the number of college students, and people younger than that who enjoy my work. My oldest fan that I know of is a lady 104 years old who said to hurry up, and get my third book done. She's already read the first two.
At book signings in Dodge City and Garden City, it was rewarding to have second-generation immigrant young people buy my books. They were of Laotian and Mexican descent.
I find it fun to be invited to specialty things because of mentions in my stories. For instance, this summer I was invited to the Glasco Rhubarb Festival because my first two books have five stories concerning my character, Bird, and his pursuit of rhubarb pie.
Now I find I have written the most popular short story I have posted to AD according to the statistical counter, Oswald K. Underfoot Finds A Firefight Treasure. It is in Highly Embellished Truth & Some Poetry:Just Folks Three, my new book.
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