Kent O'Kelly


About the Author

I spent my engineering career working mostly aerospace advanced projects (what happens next). Having retired, I fortunately have too many hobbies and things to do.

Writing suffers, but I managed to write this book.

Among the things I do…I’m a private pilot and restored my classic airplane from the basic airframe up. I target shoot and reload my own ammunition. I fish and tie trout flies. Gardening and landscaping are fun, if not always successful. I paint in acrylics and oils. The paintings on book’s cover and the title page are mine. My wife and I travel, via my airplane, airlines, cruise ships and our recreation vehicle. Family events, thankfully, are a major part of our lives. Wood and metal working, among more things, help round out my day.

Smashwords Interview

Question: What led you to write an historical novel based on actual events?
Answer: I’ve long had a fascination with the early days of North America, both before the arrival of the Europeans and with the explorers/frontiersmen, Indians, traders, military, politicians, land developers, and settlers. Interactions among these disparate people defined the expansion westward across the continent.
Question: What was your writing process?
Answer: I had no set process. I used some of the events and the timeline of the Stephen Long expedition journal, but made no formal outline, no storyboards, had no preconceived finish or theme for the book. I just wrote it as it came to me.
Read more of this interview.


First Up the River, 1819
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 90,420. Language: English. Published: January 22, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Western & American frontier
Jake Murphy joins the 1819 Stephen Long expedition up the Missouri, headed to the Yellowstone River with the first steamboat to ascend the river, the Western Engineer. Settlers are fast moving up the Missouri…threatening the lands of the Indians along and near the river. How do the Indians react? Does the expedition reach the Yellowstone? And, what happens on the way?

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