New Novel Takes Readers into a Seniors Writers’ Commune

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Author John K. Spitzberg pens “Kelly House”

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In his new book “Kelly House” (published by iUniverse), retiree John K. Spitzberg delivers a touching story about a writer's community comprised of elderly people, showing readers that many seniors have interesting and compelling stories to share.

In the mountains of western North Carolina sits an old, antebellum home called Kelly House. Here, retired CIA operative and octogenarian Ben Zangwell has decided to open an experimental writing commune for the elderly. Eight elderly men and women answer the call, and soon the house teems with artistic energy.

An excerpt from “Kelly House”:

“The group members were all people who were not progressing in their rehabilitation, but their autobiographies were instrumental in helping them gain insight into what kept them from getting well and getting on with their lives. Kelly, before his relapse, was well on his way to the recognition that he allowed his body to deteriorate partially because he recognized his weakness of always deferring to the union bosses who often did not have the welfare of the worker at heart. For more than thirty years, Kelly allowed this inconsistency to eat him alive and he internalized it until his death.”

As the members of the community settle in to their new surroundings, they all come face to face with their personal demons. They tackle their problems with their families, their religion, their emotions, their health and more. Meanwhile, more people come in and out of the group, delivering tales of adventure and love, making “Kelly House” an intriguing glimpse into the unique experiences of the elderly.

Spitzberg hopes his book reaches the hearts of the elderly. “For seniors and people of all ages this book may entice them to share their lives and spirit with others rather than living lonely, uninspiring finales to the end of their lives,” he says.

About the Author
Military veteran John K. Spitzberg (74) is a retired special education teacher, social worker, paramedic and certified nursing assistant. He is currently working on his PhD in Human Services. He is the author of “Doing It the Hard Way” and “Tsunami, No Good.” Married to Gracei Shahrokh, Spitzberg has two sons and three grandchildren. He is the president of the local chapter of Veterans for Peace and the Asheville Homeless Network.

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Indigo Books & Music, Inc. in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Reader’s Choice, Rising Star and Editor’s Choice designations—self-publishing’s only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniversebooks on Twitter.

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