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Kevin Shay

Rockville, Maryland, United States


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Kevin James Shay, 56, did not really start out wanting to be a writer, although he
published his first short story in his school literary publication when he was only
seven. He first wanted to be an astronaut and then a racehorse jockey. But as he
grew to a height of 5-foot-19 by his senior year of high school, those career choices
turned out to be dead-ends.
So, Kevin sought to take advantage of his height through a lucrative basketball
career. He played basketball for the Wildcats of Lake Highlands High School and
Richland College in Dallas, back when the Richland team was called the Lakers, not
the Thunderducks [a teammate's actual name was Ollie Hoops]. Kevin helped the
Lakers win the Dallas regional championship twice, even as he blew out a knee.
Later at the University of North Texas, he was embroiled in two rule-violation
scandals after helping his intramural basketball team, the Clark Hall Jocks, reach the
university Final Four playoffs, and his co-ed water volleyball team, Chi Omega, win
the university title.
So knowing he could not rely on hoops, Kevin figured he better learn something. He
started working for the student newspaper at Richland and UNT - it was either that
or go into accounting and one day be arrested for an Enron-like scam.
Kevin remains one of the few in his generation to actually use his journalism degree
- earned from the University of North Texas in 1981 - for more than three decades.
He has worked as a journalist for many newspapers and magazines, including The
Washington Post's Gazette newspaper chain, The Dallas Morning News, Arlington
Morning News, One World News Service, Minority Business News USA, Dallas
Examiner, Fort Worth Weekly, Texas Catholic, Dallas Times Herald, Dallas Child
Magazine, Alternet, Eoutdoors, and Online Journal.
His books include It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Trip: On the Road of the Longest
Two-Week Family Road Trip in History [2014], Walking through the Wall [2012], A
Parent's Guide to Dallas/Fort Worth [2003], and And Justice For All: The Untold
History of Dallas [2000]. He also contributed to Big Bush Lies [2004].
Kevin has received awards from numerous professional and community
organizations, including the Maryland-Delaware-Washington, D.C. Press
Association, Lincoln University's Unity Awards in Media, Dallas Press Club,
Bethesda Literary Festival, Texas Press Association, American Cancer Society,
Local Media Association, Suburban Newspapers of America, and Mental Health
Association. He earned a $500 prize in the 2002 International PeaceWriting Awards,
sponsored by the Omni Center for Peace, Justice, & Ecology of Fayetteville, Ark.
Being a writer gives Kevin the freedom and flexibility to pursue a variety of interests
and activities. He has flown in a hot-air balloon at the world's largest ballooning
event in New Mexico, rafted down swift rivers, backpacked through the Grand
Canyon and Europe, and ridden in an open-air cockpit, World War II-era Stearman
that did loops and rolls. His kids - Preston, 15, and McKenna, 13 - and ex-wife,
Michelle, have accused him of being too active during vacations. A 2013 road trip,
where he drove his two kids through 22 states and 6,950 miles across the country
and back in 17 days, was certified as the most miles driven by one driver on a family
road trip in 17 days by a world record organization.
Kevin also does some photography. One of his landscape works placed fourth in its
division in the Texas State Fair in 1995 and was exhibited there. An Eagle Scout, he
is active in community organizations, including in Scouts and youth sports.

Interests: Travel to just about anywhere, parenting, the Great Outdoors, astronomy, geology, archaeology, photography, sports.

Published writer: Yes

Freelance: Yes


Published works:


  • A Parent\'s Guide to Dallas/Fort Worth
  • And Justice For All: The Untold History of Dallas
  • Walking through the Wall
  • It\'s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Trip