Richard R. Karlen, author
of SATURDAY LUNCH and other stories, grew up in Newark, NJ, where he practiced
dentistry for thirty-five years. He is a graduate of Weequahic High School in
Newark, the University of Chicago, and NYU Dental School. He served three
years in the US Air Force including a year in Korea. He currently lives in
Scotch Plains, NJ with his wife, daughter, son and grandson.
Dr. Karlen’s seventh work of fiction, YUNG SOOK,
a novel based upon his Korean experience, will be published by Ironbound Press
in the spring of 2006.
I was returning late at
night from an ADA meeting driving on poorly lit road without a shoulder, I
narrowly missed hitting a man changing a flat tire. For the remaining drive
home, I kept well below the posted speed limit. That night I had problems
sleeping. My imagination began to spin. At the meeting, suppose I had been
drinking: a stiff aperitif before dinner, several glasses of wine during
dinner, a little cognac to finish off the evening. And then, the big
suppose: I had hit the man who was changing the flat, killed him. The
unanswered question: would I have stopped and waited for the police, risked
going to jail for committing a vehicular homicide while ‘under the influence?
The consequences: I would be ruined, along with my wife and children. The
alternative: Run, leave the crime scene before anyone spotted me.
I posed this dilemma to a
number of friends and was amazed at the disparity of their responses. Thus the
idea for WOLFE’S CHOICE began to germinate. The hit and run was simple, more
complicated was establishing the relationship between the driver and his wife,
who had also to make a choice, and, what became the most interesting part of
the story, discovering who the victim was and the impact of his death on those
who loved him.
Now and then a writer gets
lucky with an idea and the creation that follows becomes almost effortless.
Thus it was in the writing of WOLFE’S Choice. I will be more than satisfied
if the reader will find this book half as compelling as I did in the writing