Family Life

During my years with NBC in New York, I studied acting and fit in professional and amateur acting jobs. In the summer of 1958, I bought a rundown rectangular shaped shack-bungalow with 40’ of lake front 35 miles west of NYC. I gutted it down to its studs and turned it into to a one room space with an open kitchen and stall shower bathroom. I had it finished when I married in June 1959. My schoolteacher wife spent our first summer there before moving into an apartment that Labor Day weekend, on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River near her school. We had a daughter and son over the next eight years and summered in our bungalow every year until we moved to Maryland in 1968. We had a second son in January 1970.

New Direction

Keith M. DonaldsonAlso, in 1970, I left NBC to go into radio sales, where I remained for four and a half years. I also partnered with four others to open a Dinner Theatre in Roslyn, Virginia later that same year and went on to direct six musicals. A slight depression three years later adversely effected the finances of the Dinner Theatre and we shut it down. That coincided with my leaving broadcast sales for the advertising agency side of the business. That led to my owning my own agency three years later, March 1977.

I opened my own advertising agency in Washington, DC, on March 1, 1977. The agency grew steadily and in a little over a year I hired my first full time employee.

I no longer had time for doing theatre, but I did for attending. In January 1979 I approached a former NBC colleague, and then general manager of WEAM “Big Band Radio,” to let me become the station’s theater reviewer (AKA Keith Montgomery) at no cost to him. He put me on the press list. I went on to review close to every opening night play and musical in Washington, DC for the next 12 years. The notoriety I gained early on prompted local monthly magazines to hire me to write commentaries on the Washington theatre scene and to interview the stars, directors and playwrights of productions opening in DC.

During the decade of the 1980s, I built a very successful ad agency and created The Washington Flyer Magazine, a monthly slick that I Published for nearly three years before stepping down to concentrate on my company and to being a magazine columnist.

Playwriting

I sold my advertising agency in mid-1989, began studying playwriting, and slowly wove my way back into my first love—theater; acting and directing. I joined the Playwrights Forum of DC in1989. My plays are mostly one act, primarily produced in and around DC. One of them, A Touch of Spring, was performed in New York City and a scene in it was selected to be reprinted in the Anthology, Best Stage Scenes for 1996.

In June 2011, I rewrote a thirteen-year-old, two-act play Road Rage, to fit the North Carolina locale in which I now resided. I also directed its production. In February 2012, I directed three 10-minute comedies I had written in an ‘Evening of Six Short comedies’.

Fiction Writing

February 2003, after retiring from business at the end of 2002, I turned my writing efforts to fiction, as well as to improving my golf game—finding neither to be an easy task. By November 2007, I had written and self-published two mystery novels that are in my Laura Wolfe Thriller series: Death of an Intern and The Hill People (since retitled Senate Cloakroom Cabal). Laura Wolfe is a beat reporter for the Daily Star in Washington, DC. Death of an Intern was a finalist in “Mystery” at the 2007 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (NGIBA). The Hill People, now Senate Cloakroom Cabal, won finalist in both “Politics” and “Multicultural Fiction” categories at the 2008 NGIBA.

Death of an InternBQB Publishing republished all my books beginning in early 2012 rereleasing Death of an Intern in January. This edition won a second finalist award in “Mystery” at the 2012 NGIBA.

In October, BQB Publishing rereleased Senate Cloakroom Cabal. It has been submitted to 2013 awards.

I self-published and released Rude Awakenings, December 2009. It has been called ‘prescient and clairvoyant.’ Action packed, it is filled with political guile and international intrigue. BQB Publishing rereleased it May 2012. It first won a finalist award in “Mystery” at the 2010 NGIBA. Both Death of an Intern and Rude Awakenings won five-star awards from Readers Favorite in 2012.