Stowers, Carlton 1942
STOWERS, Carlton 1942
PERSONAL: Born April 14, 1942, in Brownwood, TX; son of Ira (in sales) and Fay (a secretary; maiden name, Stephenson) Stowers; married Betty Darby, October 7, 1962; married Lynne Livingston, November 30, 1975; married Pat Cruce, March 2, 1981; children: Anson, Ashley. Education: Attended University of Texas, 1961-63. Religion: Episcopalian.
ADDRESSES: Home—1015 Randy Rd., Cedar Hill, TX 75104. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Associated with Amarillo Daily News, Amarillo, TX, 1966-69, and Lubbock Avalanche Journal, Lubbock, TX, 1970-73; freelance writer, 1974-76; DallasMorning News, Dallas, TX, sportswriter and columnist, 1976-81; affiliated with Dallas Cowboys Weekly, 1981-89; writer for, and associate producer of, weekly television series "Countdown to 84," USA Cable network, 1984; staff writer for Dallas Observer, 2000—.
AWARDS, HONORS: Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Fact Crime Book, Mystery Writers of America, 1986, for Careless Whispers, and 1999, for To the Last Breath; Oppie Award for Reporting, Southwestern Booksellers, 1986, for Careless Whispers; Violent Crown Book Award, nonfiction category, Writers' League of Texas, 2002, for Within These Walls: Memoirs of a Death House Chaplain; recipient of other national and state awards for magazine and newspaper journalism.
The Randy Matson Story, Tafnews (Los Altos, CA), 1971.
Spirit, Berkley, 1973.
(With Wilbur Evans) Champions: University of Texas Track and Field, Strode, 1978.
The Overcomers, Word Books (Waco, TX), 1978.
(With Trent Jones) Where the Rainbows Wait, Playboy Press, 1978.
(Editor) Happy Trails to You (autobiography of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans), Word Books (Waco, TX), 1979.
Journey to Triumph, Taylor Publishing, 1982.
The Unsinkable Titanic Thompson, Eakin Press, 1982.
Dallas Cowboys Bluebook III, Taylor Publishing, 1982.
Friday Night Heroes, Eakin Press, 1983.
Partners in Blue, Taylor Publishing, 1983.
Dallas Cowboys Bluebook IV, Taylor Publishing, 1983.
(With Billy Olson) Reaching Higher, Word Books (Waco, TX), 1984.
The Dallas Cowboys: The First 25 Years, with foreword by James Michener, Taylor Publishing, 1984.
The Cowboy Chronicles, Eakin Press, 1984.
Careless Whispers: The True Story of a Triple Murder and the Determined Lawman Who Wouldn't Give Up, Taylor Publishing, 1984.
The Cotton Bowl: The First 50 Years, Host Communications, 1986.
Real Winning: Faith in the Lives of Thirteen Great Athletes, Word Books (Waco, TX), 1986.
(With William C. Dear) Please . . . Don't Kill Me (nonfiction), Houghton, 1989.
(With Larry Wansley) The FBI Undercover, Pocket Books, 1989.
Innocence Lost, Pocket Books, 1990.
Open Secrets: A True Story of Love, Jealousy, and Murder, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1994.
Sins of the Son, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1995.
To the Last Breath: Three Women Fight for the Truth behind a Child's Tragic Murder, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Marcus Allen) Strength of the Heart, Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 2000.
(With Reverend Carroll Picket) Within These Walls: Memoirs of a Death House Chaplain, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2002.
Scream at the Sky, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2003.
Contributor to periodicals, including Good Housekeeping, Sports Illustrated, TV Guide, Inside Sports, and People.
Author's works has been translated into German, French, Japanese, Dutch, and Spanish.
ADAPTATIONS: Careless Whispers was the basis for Sworn to Vengeance, filmed for CBS and broadcast as the CBS movie of the week; Open Secrets was the basis for the ABC mini series Telling Secrets.
SIDELIGHTS: Carlton Stowers has written numerous books about true crime and about sports and athletes. Stowers, for example, worked with Marcus Allen on his self-titled autobiography. Allen attained brief notoriety in the wake of the O. J. Simpson murder trial when rumors arose that he had had an affair with Nicole Brown Simpson (O. J.'s wife, and one of the murder victims). In Sporting News, Steve Gietschier wrote that although the political commentary seems to be more Stowers's than Allen's, "the football passages tend to ring true." Other critics reached conflicting conclusions about the book's success in giving the reader a compelling portrait of its subject. While Terry Jo Madden of Library Journal found that the book provided "few insights into his personal life," a reviewer for Publishers Weekly found in the book's pages "a reflective man."
In 2002 he teamed up with Reverend Carroll Pickett for Within These Walls: Memoirs of a Death House Chaplain. Pickett served as the chaplain for the Huntsville, Texas, prison for fifteen years, speaking with death-row inmates in the days leading to their executions. The book, which won the 2002 Violet Crown Award for nonfiction, reveals his emotional and spiritual journey that led him to devote much of his retirement to opposing the death penalty. Frances Sandiford of Library Journal concluded, "This book, more than most others on the same subject, is likely to appeal to the general reader." A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that "this thoughtful, gripping recollection offers a rare, firsthand perspective on the use of capital punishment." Similarly, John Green of Booklist commented that the book provides a "gripping look at America's prisons from a unique, and much needed, perspective." A critic for Kirkus Reviews, however, remarked that the book will fail to convince "eye-for-an-eye types" and may even make supporters question some of his perspectives. Ultimately, the critic concluded that the book would be ideal for anyone considering prison ministries.
Stowers once told CA: "The greatest enjoyment I receive from my work is the variety of projects I'm involved in. A newspaper background has provided me with the kind of work habits necessary to work swiftly and on more than one project at a time. In recent years I've dealt more attention to nonfiction books and have also found that television writing provides me a welcome respite from the long narrative of print journalism on occasion. I'm fortunate that a variety of subjects interests me; therefore I don't devote my efforts to a particular field even though I continue to do a considerable amount of sportswriting."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Armchair Detective, fall, 1995, review of Sins of the Son, p. 460.
Booklist, May 1, 2002, John Green, review of Within These Walls: Memoirs of a Death House Chaplain, p. 1490.
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 1990, review of Innocence Lost, p. 716; April 15, 1994, review of Open Secrets, p. 541; May 15, 1995, review of Sins of the Son, p. 698; January 1, 1998, review of To the Last Breath, p. 44; March 15, 2002, review of Within These Walls: Memoirs of a Death House Chaplain, p. 39.
Library Journal, November 15, 1986, review of Careless Whispers, p. 108; July, 1990, review of Innocence Lost, p. 111-13; May 15, 1994, review of Open Secrets, p. 85; July, 1995, review of Sins of the Son, p. 101; September 1, 1997, Terry Jo Madden, review of Marcus: The Autobiography of Marcus Allen, p. 186-187; May 15, 2002, Frances Sandiford, review of Within These Walls: Memoirs of a Death House Chaplain, p. 112-113.
New York Times Book Review, October 15, 1989; December 10, 1995, review of Sins of the Son, p. 26.
Publishers Weekly, September 19, 1986, review of Careless Whispers, p. 128; August 9, 1991, review of Innocence Lost, p. 55; April 11, 1994, review of Open Secrets, p. 44; May 22, 1995, review of Sins of the Son, p. 41; August 28, 1995, review of Open Secrets, p. 111; July 21, 1997, review of Marcus: The Autobiography of Marcus Allen, p. 193; December 15, 1997, review of To the Last Breath, p. 42; April 29, 2002, review of Within These Walls: Memoirs of a Death House Chaplain, p. 53.
School Library Journal, November, 1990, review of Innocence Lost, p. 155.
Sporting News, October 27, 1997, Steve Gietschier, review of Marcus: The Autobiography of Marcus Allen, p. 7.