Barer, Burl (Roger) 1947-
BARER, Burl (Roger) 1947-
PERSONAL: Born August 8, 1947, in Walla Walla, WA; son of David and Dorothy (Copeland) Barer; married Britt Elin Johnsen, March 2, 1974; children: Anea Bergen. Education: Attended University of Washington, 1969. Religion: Baha'i faith.
ADDRESSES: Offıce—1839 Crestline Dr., Walla Walla, WA 99362.
CAREER: Creative consultant, radio personality, writer. On-air personality, Seattle, WA, radio stations, including KJR, 1967-68, 1974-76; KOL, 1968-73; KYYX, 1978-80; KXA, 1981—. Mind Development, Inc., Seattle, WA, teacher and consultant, 1973-74, vice president, 1978—; Barer/McManus, Bellevue, WA, creative director and on-air personality, 1975-77; Merklingar Labs, Denver, CO, regional vice president, 1977—; Barer/Goldblatt & Associates, Bellevue, WA, president, 1978—; B. Barer & Sons, Inc., director, 1980—; Barer Cable Advertising, president, 1982—.
MEMBER: American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, American Film Institute, Variety Club, Continental Board Counselors for America (assistant to auxiliary board).
AWARDS, HONORS: Bob Willey Creative Award for Outstanding Radio Production, 1971; Seattle Design Association's Gold Award for Writing, 1983; Award of Merit, Art Direction magazine, 1983; Tri-Cities Advertising Federation Award for radio, 1985, and for television, 1987; Edgar Award, Mystery Writers of America, 1994, for The Saint: A Complete History.
Capture the Saint (limited edition), The Saint Club (London, England), 1997.
(With Jonathan Hensleigh) The Saint (movie novelization), Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1997.
Headlock, Deadly Alibi Press (Vancouver, WA), 2000.
The Saint: A Complete History in Print, Radio, Film, and Television of Leslie Charteris' Robin Hood of Modern Crime, Simon Templar, 1928-1992, McFarland & Co. (Jefferson, NC), 1993.
Maverick: The Making of the Movie and the Offıcial Guide to the Television Series, Tuttle (Boston, MA), 1994.
Man Overboard: The Counterfeit Resurrection of Phil Champagne, Soho Press (New York, NY), 1995.
Murder in the Family, Kensington Publishing (New York, NY), 2000.
Head Shot (novel), Pinnacle (New York, NY), 2001.
Body Count (novel), Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: Burl Barer began his writing career in advertising, radio, and television. His first book, published in 1993, grew out of his love for the character of the Saint, a mysterious, dashing figure who always lived in highest style, though he had no visible means of support. The Saint, also known as Simon Templar, did not hesitate to break the law if it served his purpose. His missions always had a noble goal, but he frequently helped himself along the way as well. The Saint character was created by author Leslie Charteris and has been featured in books, films, movies, and television shows. Barer's The Saint: A Complete History in Print, Radio, Film, and Television of Leslie Charteris' Robin Hood of Modern Crime, Simon Templar, 1928-1992, was "clearly a labor of love," according to Choice contributor D. Highsmith. A little more than four hundred pages long, it contains plot synopses of all the Saint novels and short stories, and general descriptions of the screen adaptations, radio plays, and television episodes of The Saint. The book also features a treatise on the cars used in the television series starring Roger Moore, synopses and credits for Saint films through 1992, movie stills, a chronology of the Saint writings (including works in French that were never published in English), and a history of the Saint Club.
According to columnist Jon L. Breen in the Armchair Detective, the book is notable for its treatment of the business details of the Saint industry, such as contracts and litigations. Breen also applauded the book's inclusion of comments from Leslie Charteris—both published sources and unpublished correspondence were made available to Barer—on the television series The Saint and on Charteris's dealings with collaborators. Noting that he had "only a couple of mild problems with this extraordinary book," Breen called the volume "fascinating" and "zestfully written." Barer received the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his work. He was later contacted by the estate of Leslie Charteris to write three new adventures of the Saint. The first of these, Capture the Saint, was published by The Saint Club in a limited edition of 500 copies, with the proceeds benefiting a youth charity in London. Barer later wrote a novelization of the 1997 film The Saint, which starred Val Kilmer.
The success of his book on the Saint led to an invitation to chronicle the making of the movie version of the classic television western Maverick. Barer spent three weeks on the set with stars James Garner, Mel Gibson, and Jodie Foster. Barer explained in an interview with P. J. Nunn, published in Charlotte Austin Review, "I was a big Maverick fan, and the introduction to the book (which I think is one of the best things I've written) explains my history with Maverick, and how my dad and I used to watch it together every week. A few years prior to the movie, nephew Lee Goldbert and I wrote a guide to the TV series for Video Review magazine. We were paid, but they never published it. When I got the contract to do the book, some of my work was already done."
Barer has also written several books in the true-crime genre. Man Overboard: The Counterfeit Resurrection of Phil Champagne tells the strange case of a man faking his own death. Murder in the Family, Head Shot, and Body Count are grisly stories of real-life killings. Reviewing Murder in the Family for Book-Browser, Doris Ann Norris called it "very readable," despite its terrible subject matter—the murder and rape of a mother and her two daughters, perpetuated by someone who knew the victims well. Norris recommended the account "for all aficionados of true crime as well as those who are fascinated by a completely amoral man." Head Shot details a double homicide in which one of the victims is shot and buried, then exhumed and decapitated. Barer used his true-crime research as a background for his novel Headlock, in which a mystery writer who pretends to be a private investigator gets caught up in a real case. Reviewer Rex E. Klett, writing in Library Journal, praised the dialog, humor, and plot of Headlock, which he termed "a real winner."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Armchair Detective, spring, 1994, pp. 222-223.
Choice, September, 1993, p. 74.
Library Journal, October 1, 2000, Rex E. Klett, review of Headlock, p. 151.
Virginian Pilot, June 1, 1997, Bill Ruehlmann, "Marketing Takes a Saintly Turn," p. J3.
BookBrowser, http://www.bookbrowser.com/ (December 8, 2000), Doris Ann Norris, interview with Burl Barer, and review of Murder in the Family.
Charlotte Austin Review, http://collection.nlc-bnc.ca/ (November 11, 2002), P. J. Nunn, interview with Burl Barer.*