GENE L. COON
The Unsung Hero of Star Trek
I have a mild case of Cerebral Palsy, and I help care for an Autistic brother. Yet, I have spent years concealing my disability for fear it might hamper my writing career. I’ve written and self-published many works, including articles and columns for content sites. My best-known release, so far, is Gene L. Coon: The Unsung Hero of Star Trek.
My work spans quite a few genres: Southern Crime Fiction, Non-Fiction Entertainment, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and Autism related fiction. The former two are the ones I’ve had the most success with. Alongside the Coon title, I penned the book Jack Kirby: The Unsung Hero of Marvel and a couple books about serial killer Joseph James DeAngelo.
My attempts at Sci-Fi/Fantasy have not been as successful, so I built on my achievements by writing more Non-Fiction Entertainment books about sci-fi creators. I have inked one on Steven Spielberg, culled from earlier articles I wrote about him. I, also, wrote books on such figures as Alfred Hitchcock, Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling, and filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. In addition, I did a couple short books on the Star Wars saga. With Disney and Marvel’s success at the box office, the Jack Kirby book might be the farthest I go in that genre for now.
Over the last decade, I was told to write more about my struggles with Cerebral Palsy and my brother’s Autism. Yet there’s a Catch 22, as with any endeavor. Despite improving my craft through writing from life experiences, this is also a business designed to make money. I also have heard: Well, this doesn’t sell, or You need to write something more marketable.
For a time, I got flack for writing serial killer stories and Autistic characters placed in science fiction or crime tales, instead of drawing from something more authentic.
Though still writing stories on the above figures, I wrote a manuscript based on an event that happened to me when I was ten years old, due to Cerebral Palsy. Another about our ordeals with my brother’s Autism, anger with discovery and acceptance of what went on, and how we learned to love him.
But my writing still didn’t feel complete, so I wrote a supernatural horror story about an Autistic child and her family being stalked. Despite many autobiographies and memoirs being successful, these more authentic stories of mine used fictional names, and either combined or deleted certain incidents that didn’t fit the main narrative. Plus, many authors have written from their life and had a great deal of success placing them in fictional contexts.
Remembering my small success with Southern Crime Fiction, I’ve spent this year (2020) weaving these Cerebral Palsy and Autism elements into a few detective stories, based on a short story I wrote and submitted for a Boucheron Crime Writers contest with Florida as a setting. Also, I worked on a couple disability themed heist caper tales set in the 1940s and 1950s.
None of these more recent stories, pertaining to Cerebral Palsy, Autism, or disability, have been published, yet. I am still deciding on when and how to release them, along with other ideas I still want to pursue.
Recently, I heard a quote from another writer who said, “Write from your life, not about your life.” More and more, I’m wondering if that’s at least partially true.
Born November 26, 1985 in Dothan, Alabama.
Whether it be Fiction or Non-Fiction, Justin Murphy has always tried to explore many themes in his work. One is probing into the darkness of pure evil with The Original Night Stalker: Portrait of A Killer, a fictional story based on a real-life murderer Joseph James DeAngelo. He also enjoys exploring obscure figures often forgotten in entertainment. Such as with his most recent success, Gene L. Coon: The Unsung Hero of Star Trek. It profiles the ex-Marine, pharmacist, and journalist who did the actual heavy lifting on The Original Series.
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