Cunningham, Chet 1928-

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CUNNINGHAM, Chet 1928-

(J.D. Bondie, Chad Calhoun, G.A. Carrington, Jess Cody, Cathy Cunningham, Kit Dalton, Lionel Derrick, a joint pseudonym; Keith Douglass, Dirk Fletcher, Don Pendleton)

PERSONAL: Born December 9, 1928, in Shelby, NE; son of Merle Burritt and Hazel (Zedicher) Cunningham; married Rose Marie Wilhoit, January 18, 1953; children: Gregory, Scott, Christine. Education: Pacific University, B.A., 1950; Columbia University, M.S., 1954.

ADDRESSES: Home and office—Cunningham Books, 8431 Beaver Lake Dr., San Diego, CA 92119. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer. News-Times, Forest Grove, OR, city editor, 1954–55; Jam Handy, Detroit, MI, writer of educational and church films and sales training materials, 1955–59; General Dynamics Corp., Convair Division, San Diego, CA, writer in motion picture section, 1959–60; Cunningham Press, San Diego, publisher and writer, 1960–; freelance writer, 1960–.

San Diego Writers Workshop, chair, 1962–; San Diego Book Awards Association, founder, 1994. Military service: U.S. Army, 1950–52; became sergeant.

WRITINGS:

NOVELS

The Chicom Affair, Powell Books (New York, NY), 1969.

Bushwhackers at Circle K, Avalon (New York, NY), 1969.

Killer's Range, Avalon (New York, NY), 1970.

Nick Carter: Night of the Avenger, Award Books (New York, NY), 1971.

Moscow at High Noon Is the Target, Award Books (New York, NY), 1972.

The Gold Wagon, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1972, published under pseudonym Jess Cody, Ulcerscroft (Crewe, England), 1989.

Fatal Friday, Venice Books, 1973.

Die of Gold, Pinnacle (New York, NY), 1973, published under pseudonym Jess Cody, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1986.

Bloody Gold, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1975, published under pseudonym Jess Cody, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1986.

The Gold and the Glory, Tower (New York, NY), 1977.

The Power and the Price, Tower (New York, NY), 1977.

The Patriots, Tower (New York, NY), 1977.

Seeds of Rebellion, Tower (New York, NY), 1977.

Beloved Rebel, Tower (New York, NY), 1978.

The Poker Club, Condor Publishing (Lincoln, MI), 1978.

This Splendid Land, Tower (New York, NY), 1979.

Rainbow Saga, Tower (New York, NY), 1979.

Mansion of Dreams, Carousel (New York, NY), 1979.

Apache Ambush, Carousel (New York, NY), 1979.

Arizona Gunfire, Carousel (New York, NY), 1980.

Man in Two Camps, Carousel (New York, NY), 1980.

The Deadly Connection, Carousel (New York, NY), 1980.

Silent Murder, Carousel (New York, NY), 1980.

(Under joint pseudonym Lionel Derrick) Hawaiian Trackdown, Pinnacle Books (Los Angeles, CA), 1980.

Cheyenne Payoff, Dell (New York, NY), 1981.

The Silver Mistress, Dell (New York, NY), 1981.

Tucson Temptress, Dell (New York, NY), 1981.

Remember the Alamo, Dell (New York, NY), 1981.

Gold Train, Tower (New York, NY), 1981, published under pseudonym Jess Cody, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1987.

Aztec Gold, R. Hale (London, England), 1982, published under pseudonym Jess Cody, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1987.

Deepwater Showdown, Dell (New York, NY), 1983.

The Avenger, Warner (New York, NY), 1987.

Comanche Massacre, Chivers Press (Bath, England), 1987.

The Avenger 2, Warner (New York, NY), 1988.

Colombia Crackdown, Warner (New York, NY), 1988.

Manhattan Massacre, Warner (New York, NY), 1988.

(Under pseudonym Dirk Fletcher) Laramie Lovers, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 1988.

(Under pseudonym J.D. Bondie) Red Bluff Revenge, Lynx (New York, NY), 1989.

(Under pseudonym G.A. Carrington) The Templeton Massacre, Dell (New York, NY), 1990.

Boots and Saddles, G.K. Hall (Boston, MA), 1990.

Slaughter at Buffalo Creek, Curley Publishing (South Yarmouth, MA), 1990.

(Under pseudonym Cathy Cunningham) Curse of Valkyrie House, Curley Publishing (South Yarmouth, MA), 1991.

The Fugitive, Curley Publishing (South Yarmouth, MA), 1991.

(Under pseudonym Dirk Fletcher) Minetown Mistress, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 1993.

Devil's Gold, G.K. Hall (Boston, MA), 1995.

Cripple Creek Bonanza, Republic of Texas Press (Plano, TX), 1996.

Aztec Gold, G.K. Hall (Boston, MA), 1997.

Gold Train, G.K. Hall (Boston, MA), 1997.

Sioux Slaughter, Thorndike Press (Waterville, ME), 1998.

Renegade Army, Thorndike Press (Waterville, ME), 2000.

"JIM STEEL" WESTERN SERIES

Gold Wagon, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1972.

Die of Gold, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1973.

Bloody Gold, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1974.

Devil's Gold, Tower (New York, NY), 1980.

Gold Train, Tower (New York, NY), 1980.

"PONY SOLDIERS" SERIES

Slaughter at Buffalo Creek, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1987.

Comanche Massacre, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1987.

Comanche Moon, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1988.

Cheyenne Blood Storm, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1988.

Sioux Showdown, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1988.

Sioux Slaughter, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1988.

Boots and Saddles, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1988.

Renegade Army, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1988.

Battle Cry, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1989.

Fort Blood, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1989.

Cheyenne Blood Storm, Curley Publishing (South Yarmouth, MA), 1990.

"OUTLAWS" SERIES

Ride Tall or Hang High, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1989.

Six Guns, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1989.

Dead Man's Hand, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1989.

Avengers, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1990.

"THE SPECIALISTS" SERIES

Plunder, Bantam (New York, NY), 1999.

Deadly Strike, Bantam (New York, NY), 2001.

Nuke Down, Bantam (New York, NY), 2001.

UNDER PSEUDONYM CATHY CUNNINGHAM

The Demons of Highpoint House, Popular Books (New York, NY), 1973.

Lost Love Found, Pioneer Communications (Des Moines, IA), 1986.

Love's Confession, Pioneer Communications (Des Moines, IA), 1986.

Young Lovers, Pioneer Communications (Des Moines, IA), 1986.

Love's Denial, Pioneer Communications (Des Moines, IA), 1986.

UNDER PSEUDONYM KIT DALTON

Gunpoint, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1986.

Lever Action, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1986.

Scattergun, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1987.

Winchester Valley, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1987.

Gunsmoke Gorge, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1987.

Remington Ridge, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1987.

Shotgun Station, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1987.

Pistol Grip, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1987.

Peacemaker Pass, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1988.

Silver City Carbine, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1988.

California Crossfire, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1988.

Hangfire Hill [and] Crossfire, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1988.

Gunpoint [and] Lever Action, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1989.

Colt Crossing, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1989.

Powder Charge, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1989.

Laramie Showdown, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1989.

Double Action, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1989.

Dead Man's Moon, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1989.

Apache Rifles, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1990.

Return Fire, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1990.

Hogleg Hell, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 1993.

Pistol Whipped, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 1993.

Colt .45 Vengeance, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 1993.

Muzzle Blast, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 1994.

WITH MARK ROBERTS UNDER JOINT PSEUDONYM LIONEL DERRICK; "THE PENETRATOR" SERIES

Blood on the Strip, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1973.

Hijacking Manhattan, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1974.

Tokyo Purple, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1974.

Northwest Contract, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1974.

The Hellbomb Flight, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1975.

Bloody Boston, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1975.

Mankill Sport, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1975.

Deepsea Shootout, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1976.

Countdown to Terror, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1976.

The Radiation Hit, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1976.

High Disaster, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1977.

Cryogenic Nightmare, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1977.

Mexican Brown Death, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1978.

The Skyhigh Betrayers, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1979.

Computer Kill, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1979.

Showbiz Wipeout, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1979.

Death Ray Terror, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1980.

Deadly Silence, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1980.

Hawaiian Trackdown, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1980.

Assassination Factor, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1980.

Deadly Gold Hijackers, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1981.

Deep Cover Cataclysm, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1981.

UNDER PSEUDONYM DIRK FLETCHER; "SPUR WESTERN" SERIES

High Plains Temptress, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1981.

Arizona Fancy Lady, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1981.

St. Louis Jezebel, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1982.

Rocky Mountain Vamp, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1982.

Cathouse Kitten, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1983.

Indian Maid, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1983.

San Francisco Strumpet, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1983.

Wyoming Wench, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1983.

Texas Tart, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1983.

Montana Minx, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1983.

Santa Fe Floozy, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1984.

Nevada Hussy, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1984.

New Mexico Sisters, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1985.

Hang Spur McCoy, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1985.

Rawhider's Woman, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1985.

Saloon Girl, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1985.

Bald Knobber's Woman, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1986.

San Diego Sirens, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1987.

Frisco Foxes, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1988.

Portland Pussycat, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1989.

Boise Belle, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1989.

Bounty Hunter's Moon, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1989.

Tall Timber Trollop, Dorchester (New York, NY), 1989.

UNDER PSEUDONYM DON PENDLETON; "MACK BOLAN" SERIES

Crude Kill, Gold Eagle (Toronto, Canada), 1982.

Orbiting Omega, Gold Eagle (Toronto, Canada), 1983.

Skysweeper, Gold Eagle (Toronto, Canada), 1983.

Hellbinder, Gold Eagle (Toronto, Canada), 1983.

Resurrection Day, Gold Eagle (Toronto, Canada), 1984.

Baltimore Trackdown, Gold Eagle (Toronto, Canada), 1984.

Nothing Personal, Gold Eagle (Toronto, Canada), 1984.

Kill Trap, Gold Eagle (Toronto, Canada), 1984.

Motor City Mayhem, Gold Eagle (Toronto, Canada), 1985.

FOR CHILDREN

Dead Start Scramble, Scholastic Book Services (New York, NY), 1973.

You Are Expelled, Fitzhenry & Whiteside (Post Mills, VT), 1974.

Narc One Going Down, Scholastic Book Services (New York, NY), 1975.

The Locked Storeroom Mystery, Scholastic Book Services (New York, NY), 1977.

Apprentice to a Rip-Off, Scholastic Book Services (New York, NY), 1978.

Chief Crazy Horse (biographical fiction), Lerner (Minneapolis, MN), 2000.

NONFICTION

Your Wheels: How to Keep Your Car Running, Putnam (New York, NY), 1973.

Your Bike: How to Keep Your Motorcycle Running, Putnam (New York, NY), 1973.

Baja Bike, Putnam (New York, NY), 1974.

Police Tactics, West Publishing (St. Paul, MN), 1975.

Your First Car, Putnam (New York, NY), 1976.

The New Runners' Running Book, Manor, 1977.

222 Ways to Save Gas and Get the Best Possible Mileage, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1981.

Your Prostate: What Every Man Over 40 Needs to Know—Now!, United Research Publishers (CA), 1990.

50 Secrets: How to Meet People and Make Friends, United Research Publishers (Leucadia, CA), 1992.

Three Simple Steps to Flatten Your Belly: A Trio of Methods for Men and Women of Virtually Any Age …, United Research Publishers (CA), 1994.

The Irritable Bowel Syndrome (I.B.S.) & Gastrointestinal Solutions Handbook, United Research Publishers (Leucadia, CA), 1995.

The Sciatica Relief Handbook, United Research Publishers (CA), 1997.

The Macular Degeneration Handbook: Natural Ways to Prevent & Reverse it, United Research Publishers (Encinitas, CA), 1999.

Stopping Restless Legs Syndrome, United Research Publishers (Encinitas, CA), 2000.

The Fibromyalgia Relief Handbook, United Research Publishers (Encinitas, CA), 2000.

The Gout Relief Handbook, United Research Publishers (Encinitas, CA), 2000.

Hell Wouldn't Stop: An Oral History of the Battle of Wake Island, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2002.

The Prostate Handbook: What Every Man Over Forty Needs to Know about his Prostate, United Research Publishers (Encinitas, CA), 2003.

Caring for your Aging Parents: The Caregiver's Handbook, edited by Fran Reich, United Research Publishers (Carlsbad, CA), 2004.

The Frogmen of World War II: An Oral History of the U.S. Navy's Underwater Demolition Team, Thorndike Press (Waterville, ME), 2005.

OTHER

Also author of military training and commercial instruction films and film reports for the Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force. Author of monthly column "Truck Talk," in numerous trade magazines, 1956–79, and of ghost-written column "Your Car," published in numerous weekly and daily newspapers, 1960–82.

Also wrote (under pseudonym Keith Douglass) Seal Team Seven,; (part of "Outlaws Series" Flagstaff Showdown.

SIDELIGHTS: Chet Cunningham is a prolific writer, primarily of adventure and Western novels. In addition to contributing individual novels to a number of ongoing series published under house pseudonyms, Cunningham has created series of his own, ranging from traditional Western novels of adventure to Westerns with a sophisticated, adult-oriented storyline. Cunningham also has written a number of books for children and nonfiction works, ranging from informative guides to historical works.

In his early Westerns, Cunningham writes of Jim Steel, a man obsessed with the pursuit of gold. In a number of novels, all of which feature the word "gold" in their titles, Cunningham chronicles Steel's adventures. Steel, according to David Whitehead in Twentieth-Century Western Writers, "is an ex-lawman with a love of (if not a mania for) gold. Indeed, gold is the only currency in which he will trade." In Die of Gold, Steel is the guard for a shipment of dies used for minting the 1867 Eagle gold coin. "It's the standard Western plot," as the reviewer for Publishers Weekly stated, who judged the novel "entertaining."

Cunningham's "Pony Soldiers" series, according to Whitehead, is "possibly his best" work. The fictional saga of a "Lightning Troop" of soldiers trained to fight and move quickly in Indian fashion, the series, Whitehead explained, contains "a wealth of Indian and Army lore (which, if not always totally accurate, is certainly authoritative) adds credibility to the adventures…. Cunningham's skill at creating three-dimensional supporting characters is also used to good advantage."

Cunningham has also written two series of Westerns that Whitehead called "exceptionally pornographic." These books are published under his Kit Dalton and Dirk Fletcher pseudonyms. The Dalton books tell the adventures of Lee Morgan, a gunslinger of the Old West whose adventures take him from Alaska to Argentina. The Fletcher books follow Spur McCoy, "an over-sexed U.S. Secret Service agent who works as a trouble shooter primarily for the Treasury Department," as Whitehead noted.

Later in his career, Cunningham created a new series called "The Specialists." The novels focus on an elite force of former government agents and military personnel who fought malevolence on an international level with the support and financing of an odd but wealthy patron. Commenting on one novel in the series, Plunder, a critic in Publishers Weekly noted "Cunningham's decent plot suffers from poor execution."

In addition to Cunningham's many novels and series, his nonfiction work is also significant. In Hell Wouldn't Stop: An Oral History of the Battle of Wake Island, the author adds a personal touch to his history of this World War II conflict. His brother, Kenneth, was involved with the intense battle and was one of many marines who was held as a prisoner of war by the Japanese for nearly four years after the Americans were forced to surrender. Writing in the Library Journal, Charles M. Minyard commented: "Reading the accounts of torture, horrid working and living conditions, and lack of food can be difficult, but it is necessary."

Cunningham uses the written remembrances of his brother and interviews with at least sixty-nine veterans of the battle and the tremendous suffering that followed as the focus of his book. Another critic, Gregory J.W. Urwin, writing in Pacific Affairs, was highly critical of many aspects of Cunningham's text. Urwin noted: "Cunningham's commentary is replete with errors of fact and interpretation." Despite Urwin's issues with Hell Wouldn't Stop, other critics, such as a reviewer in Kirkus Reviews found the book "a stirring account of bravery and fortitude."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Twentieth-Century Western Writers, second edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1991.

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2002, review of Hell Wouldn't Stop: An Oral History of the Battle of Wake Island, p. 1440.

Library Journal, November 1, 2002, Charles M. Minyard, review of Hell Wouldn't Stop, p. 104.

Pacific Affairs, summer, 1993, Gregory J. W. Urwin, review of Hell Wouldn't Stop, p. 331.

Publishers Weekly, October 8, 1973, review of Die of Gold, p. 98; November 1, 1999, review of Plunder, p. 81.

ONLINE

Chet Cunningham Home Page, http://www.chetcunningham.com (September 2, 2005).

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Cunningham, Chet 1928-

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