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Richard R. Karlen grew up in Newark, NJ. After graduating from dental school, he enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed in South Korea and Japan for three years. Upon completion of his tour of duty, he returned to New Jersey where he practiced dentistry in Newark for thirty-five years until he retired and launched a new career as an author. He currently lives in Scotch Plains, NJ with his wife, daughter, son and grandson.

Richard R. Karlen’s eighth work of fiction, DEVIL’S DANCE REDUX, will be published by Ironbound Press in the fall of 2007.

Author’s Note

The story of Yung Sook first began to germinate in my mind during the Vietnam War. Strongly opposed to the war, I felt a need to make a statement expressing my horror at the devastating consequences of modern weaponry unleashed against defenseless human beings.  I spent a year in Korea while an Air Force dentist and using that experience attempted a novella in which I tried to bring that horror into the sort of perspective that good fiction can best accomplish. I believe that given what happened in Korea, in Vietnam, and at the present time in Iraq and Afghanistan, a writer needed only to explore the nuances of each culture,  then change names and locales, and the stories of the nightmarish aftermaths of war remain fundamentally the same. The unfinished novella languished in my filing cabinet for thirty-five years until I revived it and made it the basis for “Yung Sook,” which should be a reminder to writers, young and old, to save everything.  One never knows when an old idea can be resurrected and give impetus to a new and original work.



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