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Golden book to be on audio soon

Jeff Golden, the author of two novels and a nonfiction political book, has inked a deal with Blackstone Audio in Ashland to sell his "Unafraid" as an audio CD.

Golden, a socio-political commentator and broadcaster and former Jackson County Commissioner, said the novel, originally self-published, was picked up by Hellgate Press in Ashland and published as a hardcover.

The book, coming on the heels of a Camelot media frenzy following the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy, is steeped in Kennedy clan lore and explores a fictional history that might have been if the headshot on JFK had been several inches off — and he'd been wounded, but lived to carry out his many visions for a more peaceful world.

Portions of "Unafraid" may be read on www.unafraidthebook.com or Amazon. It's detailed on Hellgate at http://www.hellgatepress.com/catalog.php?value=14

Blackstone, one of the largest independent audiobook publishers in the U.S., normally employs classics or better-known books from larger publishing houses, "so I feel really good having the book recognized like that," said Golden, who is working on yet another political novel.

Blackstone uses many local voices, including actors at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, to record its books. Golden's "Unafraid" was read in part last year at Oregon Stage Works with Richard Elmore of OSF as JFK and, notes Golden, "he hit it out of the park."

Golden, who was class president at his Beverly Hills High School, wrote "Watermelon Summer" in 1971 — the story of his dropping out of Harvard to live off the grid in Southern Oregon. This was followed by "Forest Blood," a novel of loggers vs. environmentalists, in 1999; "As If We Were Grownups," a collection of made-up political speeches that tell the truth, in 2004; and "Unafraid" last year.

"Unafraid" is more than an alternate history, says the Hellgate Web site. It examines "a leader who blows the sides out of conventional politics with a simple belief: a primary reason that idealistic goals are 'impossible' to achieve is that we needlessly decide that they're impossible to achieve."

Golden, the host for a decade of Jefferson Public Radio's "Jefferson Exchange," in 2007 created an independent radio program, "Immense Possibilities Radio."