Kiger, Patrick J. 1957-
Kiger, Patrick J. 1957-
Born August 16, 1957, in McKeesport, PA; son of Jerome (a butcher) and Mae (a homemaker; maiden name, Lyons) Kiger; married Martha Pearson (an occupational therapist), July 2, 1991; children: Jerome Minh. Ethnicity:"Irish-German." Education: Attended Pennsylvania State University, 1975-79. Hobbies and other interests:Music, photography, martial arts.
Pittsburgh (magazine), Pittsburgh, PA, staff writer and assistant editor, 1981-84; Pittsburgh Press,Pittsburgh, staff writer, 1984-86; Orange County Register, Santa Ana, CA, staff writer, 1986-89;Baltimore (magazine), Baltimore, MD, senior writer, 1989-93; freelance writer.
American Society of Journalists and Authors.
Benjamin Fine Award, National Association of Secondary School Principals, 1992; Silver Medal, writer of the year, City and Regional Magazine Association, 1997.
(With Martin J. Smith) Poplorica: A Popular History of the Fads, Mavericks, Inventions, and Lore That Shaped Modern America, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.
(With Martin J. Smith) Oops: 20 Life Lessons from the Fiascos That Shaped America, HarperCollins (New York, NY, 2006.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
A book on the battle between scandal magazines and Hollywood in the 1950s.
Patrick J. Kiger once told CA: "I am a journalist by training and experience. I'm interested in the strange, surprising, and significant stories that are obscured by the big headline events."
Kiger more recently told CA: "As a teenager, I started reading rock magazines such as Creem and Rolling Stone, and realized not only that it was possible to be funny and irreverent in print, but also that somebody got paid to do it. I have been influenced at various times by T.C. Boyle, Philip K. Dick, Charles ‘Miami Blues’ Willeford, James Ellroy, George P. Pelecanos, John Berendt, and magazine journalist Ron Rosenbaum.
"For book chapters and magazine articles, I usually start with a fairly vague outline and then make a series of increasingly longer, more detailed ones. This goes on until eventually, I've got an outline that is pretty much a draft, except for transitions. The most surprising thing I've learned is that gathering a lot of information is important, but the real challenge is being able to figure out what it really means, in terms of the big picture. I like both of my books equally, I guess. But I also keep thinking, too late, of ways I could have made them better. My goal in writing is to give somebody out there a pleasant, amusing Sunday afternoon of reading on the couch at the local Starbucks. And if I ever actually run into that person, the lattes are on me."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 1, 2004, Mike Tribby, review ofPoplorica: A Popular History of the Fads, Mavericks, Inventions, and Lore That Shaped Modern America, p. 1117.
Library Journal, January, 2004, Debra Moore, review of Poplorica, p. 140.