McNay on Money

Rick Robinson & Keen Babbage, "Hitting It Big" As Authors

By: Don McNay
By: Don McNay

My longtime friend Rick Robinson, just received a "six figure" option for the movie rights to his novel Manifest Destiny.

"That's why I'm looking for the next best thing"

 

-Warren Zevon

 

 My longtime friend  Rick Robinson,   just received a "six figure" option for the movie rights to his novel Manifest Destiny.  

 

Rick writes political thrillers and his third book is the one that hit the jackpot.

 

Another longtime friend,  Dr. Keen Babbage,  just released his 13th book, The Dream And The Reality of Teaching. 

 

 A pretty good feat as Dr. Babbage has been battling cancer and spent a lot of  the year in chemotherapy.     He  is cancer free and  back to teaching.  It  has been a hell of a struggle.

 

Rick,  one of the funniest people I have ever met, draws on his decades as a political insider in Washington and Kentucky and writes gripping novels that entertain.   Dr. Babbage writes books that draw on his expertise in education and life.

 

Rick is a successful author  in the conventional sense.    A  lot of people  talk about writing a novel  but few ever do it.   With his first book,  The Maximum  Contribution, Rick  achieved the rarified title of author.    It was a good book and Sniper Bid, his second was even better. 

 

When Manifest Destiny came out,  my review in Huffington Post said that "Manifest Destiny is where The West Wing meets the Bourne Identity."

 

It looks like Hollywood agrees with me.    Businesses don't hand out six figure checks unless they plan on making far more in return.  

 

What separates Rick from other authors is his enthusiasm and work ethic.   He will go anywhere, anytime, to do a book signing and has built up a strong and growing audience.

 

Rick does this while maintaining a full time law practice and remaining a political insider who has his finger on the pulse of politics and Kentucky and nationally.

 

Some writers give Rick a backhanded compliment praising his marketing skills and not properly noting his writing ability.

 

As the people who promoted New Coke, The Edsel,  or Pets.com can tell you,  a great marketing campaign is useless unless you have a great product.

 

Rick can really write and is  winning awards right and left.      Although critical success does not always lead to commercial success,  (Kiss has never won a Grammy but has sold more record than many who have)  Rick has both going for him.

 

Unless something dramatic changes in Hollywood,  I doubt that they will be making  "The Dream and The Reality of Teaching," or any other Dr. Babbage's other books into a movie.    I don't think Keen cares.

 

Keen is totally devoted to the teaching profession and uses his books to instruct and inspire others.

 

His attitude reminds me of the wisdom of Thomas More in the movie,  A Man For All Seasons. 

 

More encouraged one of his political assistants to become a teacher. 

 

The assistant said,   "who would know me if I were a teacher."   More   replied, "you would know, your students would know and God would know.  Not a bad audience."

 

I've heard from many of Dr. Babbage's students that he is an outstanding and inspiring teacher.   One of the things that kept him motivated during his battle with cancer was getting back to the classroom and making an impact.

 

Through his writing,   Keen allows the world outside his classroom to  hear his insights about education and his teaching skills.

 

That is not a bad audience  either.

 

I've been friends with  Rick and Keen for over 30 years.  I knew them before they ever thought about writing a book and read most, if not all, of their books along the way.    

 

In the way that Rick is capturing commercial and critical success and that Keen is impacting the education profession,   both have one thing in common.

 

They have "hit it big" as authors.

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