Sunday, 8 July 2012

Three More International Book Awards

I've just received exciting news! Three more of my books have been nominated/short-listed for Readers Favorite Books Awards. The Readers Favorite Awards happen every year and are open to both published and not-yet published books.  I believe roughly 10,000 books are entered into 36 categories, from which anywhere from 4 to 6 per category are short-listed. In other words, roughly 2% of books entered make it to the short lists.  Last year (2011), both my entries were short-listed, and both came third in their respective categories.


Breaking Thru the Fibro Fog: 
Scientific Proof Fibromyalgia Is Real
came third in the non-fiction category General Health & Fitness.  To find out more about this book, just check the book's website at

Inside a Hollow Tree came third in the General Fiction category. This is the story of Dalton Hobby, a 14-year old orphan nobody wants. Finally, his caseworker sends Dalton off to an all-boys boarding school in Washington State, where the boy arrives on a rainy day carrying everything he owns in one small yellow suitcase, and a large green garbage bag that he promptly hides in the hollow of a dead tree. As the story unfolds, one by one the various dark and wonderful contents of that garbage bag are revealed, revealing Dalton as the truly extraordinary boy he is.

These two books are both available through the publisher at

eBook prices are $4.99 and $1.99, respectively, through Amazon.


This year, I entered four books, and three of them then were short-listed:

Black Spoons & Brimstone is the story of Julian Briscoe, a 31 year-old low-life drug dealer who literally wakes up dead after a drug deal gone bad. Stuck in some weird Limbo where time and place have no meaning, he loses himself, falls in love, finds himself, and then is given one 'fools chance' to save the drug-addicted woman he loves from suffering the same Hellish fate he has.  

 The Raders Favorite review read:

"Julian had a major problem; he was dead. He remembered seeing the gun pointed at him, and he remembered the sound, the pain and the blood. When he woke up he wasn’t sure where he was but it sure wasn’t heaven. Besides, he had never believed in God, heaven or any of that stuff. Wherever he was, it was cold and he was alone and thirsty. He headed toward the mountain. He found some odd items in his pockets: a key, a paper clip, a stamp, a magnet, and a coin. Every time he fell asleep he would wake up in a different place until he crawled into a cave where he found a fire and three people. One was a girl named Jennifer. Julian kept asking himself what was going on. Now he knew his purpose. Julian is sent on a mission to prevent a girl from becoming an addict. In the process of his mission he must face his actions and the pain he has inflicted on others. Julian had no beliefs; at least he didn’t think he believed in anything. His experience brings about significant changes in him.

"Black Spoons and Brimstone" by Kevin White offers readers a tale with a unique plot and it is told in a unique way. Julian is the main character and the narrator. The story itself is deep and multidimensional and will leave the reader pondering the meaning of the tale even long after they close the book. In Julian, White has created a realistic character that grows in front of the reader. The ending of this tale took me by surprise. Mr. White, I look forward to reading more of your books."

This book has been short-listed in the Fantasy/Sci-Fi category and will soon be available as an eBook at for $1.99.

The River Riders is the first book in a fantasy trilogy called Miriam's Seed. It has been short-listed in the Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi category. The Readers Favorite Review was: 

Rating: 5.0 stars

"The people of the town avoided Zeke; they thought he was crazy or at the least a tramp and that he didn’t smell very good. However, the animals knew better; he always had little treats in his pocket for him. Most of the town’s people just kept hoping he would disappear. The widow woman and her daughter who lived closed to Green Meadow were kind to Zeke and would leave out a bowl of stew or soup each day along with a piece of bread. Miriam questioned her mother as to why she worried so much about a stranger. The widow was grateful to him for he had brought Miriam to her and Ben, her deceased husband. This just made Miriam more curious. Zeke stayed away for a long time but when he did return it was with a warning. Suddenly they were surrounded by danger. Everyone in Apple Grove feared the forest, yet that was where Zeke led them.

Young adult fantasy is one of my favorite genres, especially when it has that special quality that makes it mystical, suspenseful with a touch of danger. Kevin White’s tale quickly captured my attention and held it to the very last page. Zeke and Miriam are both heartwarming characters. Nanna is such a kind and perceptive character in this tale that she demonstrates compassion and mercy where few others in Apple Grove demonstrate anything other than fear, suspicion and cruelty. Kevin White is a name to remember. I will be looking for more books by him."

The River Riders will also soon be available as an eBook through, for $1.99; and a printed version will follow soon afterwards.

Puck is a  not-yet illustrated picture book for the pre-teen audience, that has been short-listed in the Children-Preteen category. The Readers Favorite Review was:

Rating: 5.0 stars

"Kevin and Kathy were concerned about their three year old son. Something just wasn’t right with him, and hadn’t been since he was born, despite what his doctor said. It was after Luke’s doctor finally decided something was wrong that Luke started enduring test after test, seeing a lot of different doctors to try and find out why Luke didn’t talk, always had the same expression on his face, and didn’t seem interested in anything. It was when a child psychiatrist diagnosed Luke with Autism that Kathy and Kevin’s hearts were broken for their son, knowing that there was no cure, no medicine Luke could take, and nothing they could do. It was devastating. Kevin walked with his son often, and one day while walking with his now seven year-old Luke, they came upon a hockey rink, and started watching the game. This day changed Luke’s life because of the interest he started showing in the game. What happened in the following days, months and years in Luke’s life was amazing.

This is a heartwarming story told by a father about the life of his autistic son. In reading a few books on autism, I am amazed at how some things mean nothing to an autistic child, and then they are drawn to other things just as Luke is so mesmerized with hockey and the puck. Luke is blessed to have parents that love and support him. I was in tears as Kevin White told of spending valuable time with Luke, and how his wife Kathy was always there to love and praise him for his accomplishments. This is a wonderful book that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I encourage everyone to read it. It will warm your heart to see a family breaking through the barriers of their son’s handicap and bringing meaning to his life."

This book is pending illustrations and, I hope, will be published within the next 6 months.

The fourth book I entered, called The Boy with the Horn, is a children's picture book that is not yet illustrated. Its Readers Favorite review was extremely positive too, even though it wasn't short-listed (maybe the absence of pictures hurt it). The reviewer wrote:

Rating: 5.0 stars

"Daniel Frost loves lots of things typical of a 12 year old boy. Hockey and his little brother are at the top of his list. Daniel is a special highlight at the games as he cheers his team on with a long blue horn which he blows in response to everything that happens on the ice. Michael, Daniel's brother, is an excellent player who wins awards every year. It makes Daniel proud! Not everybody understands or appreciates the joy a Down's Syndrome child sees in the world around him--or the loud sound his horn makes. When an intolerant opposing team parent tries to make him stop, he rebels but in complete innocence. The team has something special in store for their biggest fan, Daniel, and it will bring tears to the reader's eyes at the depth of love.

People can be so cruel and rude sometimes. This book could very well be written by somebody who witnessed the story happen. It is real, especially to anybody who has been around a beautiful Down's Syndrome child. What a great way to share the treasure with the rest of the world! This book would be a fantastic asset to libraries, reading groups, classrooms and personal collections. Written with tenderness and respect, Kevin White's "The Boy with the Horn" is well-written and hard to put down. It will be exciting to see the illustrations when they are finished. Add pictures to this book and you will have a book you can keep for yourself or give away as a gift!"


I just wanted to share my exciting news. And if you want to purchase my books, they are both available, as eBooks (both books; $4.99 and $1.99, respectively) and printed (Breaking Thru only; ($19.95) at 

Proceeds from the sales of these books are being donated to the American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association (AFSA) and the Kids Help Phone.


Friday, 6 July 2012

Friends In Hard Times

This is a song I wrote almost 20 years ago now, but which remains one of my favourites. It speaks about the importance of friends who don't disappear when things get rough.  I hope every one of us has at least a few friends like these.

I will be off to Europe for a few weeks, touring with my book and vacationing with my family. I will try to keep in touch. I hope you all have a wonderful next few weeks of summer (unless you are down under, in which case I hope you are having a lovely winter).


P.S. If you are looking for a novel to read on the beach, I have just published my first novel on Kindle. It deals with the issue of friendship in hard times, and won a 2011 Readers Favorite Book Award. It is for sale for just $1.99 at amazon. Please check it out and tell others. Proceeds from the sale of this book are being donated the Kids Help Phone - Inside a Hollow Tree (eBook)

What I Learned from Harry Chapin

There are relatively few people whose death has made me cry. I didn’t cry when my mother died, for reasons I won’t go into here. I cried several days after my father died, when I was alone in the garage of his house and saw his old golf clubs, jarring the memory of having caddied for him sometimes when I was a kid. He and I had been very close, but showing emotion had never been his thing; and I guess I had learned that from him. 

I also cried a few times when patients of mine died - a few times from me having become exhausted trying to save them, and a few times when their death was just so damned sudden and unexpected. This especially happened when I was a medical intern and resident, and death and dying were relatively new to me.

But I sat down and absolutely bawled, on July 16th 1981, when I heard on the radio that Harry Chapin had died.

Who was Harry Chapin?  Many of you won’t know, because he died before your time... or because his music was never so main-stream as to be omnipresent on the radio. One song of his DID become a #1 hit, and that song plays regularly on the radio even today. That song – Cats in the Cradle – is perhaps one of the most thought-provoking popular songs ever written, one that calls every parent to be better. I can’t hear it without thinking about what type of father I have been to each of my four children, now all fully grown (my youngest just turned 17).

But that song and that life-influencing message isn’t why I cried for Harry Chapin.

Harry Chapin was a songwriter who didn’t write for the rich and famous, or the cool and hip. He wrote for those among us who are sad or lonely or old or sick... or all of the above. He wrote about justice and injustice. He wrote about the poor and down-trod. He was the ultimate champion of the little guy.  Once he released Cats in the Cradle and became financially secure for life, he dedicated himself almost full time to helping others, in particular the poor and hungry. Among all the performers of his day, it was he who spear-headed World Hunger Year, and was central to the creation of the Presidential Commission on World Hunger. When I saw him in concert, at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles in about 1980, he was donating all proceeds from the sale of his book, and his share of proceeds from one out of every three concerts he performed to World Hunger. In all, he apparently supported 82 charities, and died driving a Volkswagen. In 1987, six years after his death, he was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for his social activism.

But that’s not why I cried for Harry Chapin.

I cried for Harry Chapin because I actually got to meet him, after that concert at the Greek Theatre, standing in line with hundreds of others to have him sign the book of his I’d just bought.  I stood there for over an hour, waiting, and wondering if he’d eventually just announce that he’d have to leave to catch a light. But he didn’t leave until he’d signed every single book, including mine. And when I told him I was a songwriter too (though only 22 and completely unknown, and headed to medical school and likely never going to become a renowned musician), he seemed genuinely interested. He encouraged me to follow that dream, even if other things made me put it on hold for awhile. Even though I was a total stranger, one of hundreds he’d met one-on-one that night, he cared enough to spend time with me.

I didn’t even think to ask him for his phone number or address so I could contact him and get advice about one day making my music heard, because I was too awed just by meeting and talking with him. But I am confident he would have given them to me.  He was THAT kind of person. And until the day he died, I guess I dreamed that one day I WOULD contact him, when I was ready. Obviously, it is far too late for that now.

Just the other day, I happened to hear my favorite Harry Chapin song on a university radio station. The song, called Mr. Tanner, never would become a hit – like Cats, or Taxi, or W.O.L.D. – and it certainly would never appear on a major radio station today. But it was and remains a hit among those who love Chapin. In the song, Mr. Tanner is a small-town cleaner with a breathtakingly beautiful voice who sings quietly to himself while he works, just because he loves to sing. That image, of doing something just for the love of it, remains with me to this day. It is the reason I started writing seriously about 7 years ago; and, sixteen books and more than 400 songs later, why I continue to write today.

I don’t know if my books or my songs will ever hit a best-seller’s or top 50 list. Or have the impact that Harry Chapin’s did. But if they don’t, I still hope that some people get to read  or listen to them – and laugh a little bit, and cry a little bit - and then feel a little richer for it.

Harry Chapin wrote:

Oh if a man tried to take his time on Earth
And prove before he died what one man's life could be worth,
 I wonder what would happen to this world

My life goal is to live up to these words. And that is why I, like Harry Chapin, have tried my best to champion the little guy: those who have fibromyalgia whom the medical establishment have forgotten; those who are bullied in silence; those who suffer addiction; those who have mental conditions like autism and Down’s syndrome; and those who just feel all alone.

And that is why proceeds from all my books, like Harry Chapin’s, are being donated to charity. You can thank Harry Chapin for that!

Kevin White
Award-winning author 
Visit my website

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Latest Poll Results

Just over a month ago, I asked everyone visiting my website to answer a poll asking you all which drug or class of drugs had helped you the most with your fibro; and, thanks to several people being directed my way by Jan Chambers, President of the Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association, and fibromyalgia book author and staunch advocate Celeste Cooper, we ended up with 125 responses.  Here are the results:

As you can see, no one drug did very well, and more than one third of respondents either felt no drug had helped or hadn't tried any. Clearly, then, drugs are not the only answer and the focus of fibro treatment must always be, as I've said repeatedly, trial and error and multi-dimensional. This starts with two things: (1) having a doctor, other health care provider or, best yet, health care team who BELIEVES YOU AND IS WILLING TO WORK WITH YOU; and (2) even before that, BELIEVING IN YOURSELF. Don't let anyone tell you your pain isn't real, or that it is trivial, or that you just need to snap out of it. Your pain is YOUR pain, not theirs. No one, not even some hobnob expert with 72 letters after his name and a pizza created in his likeness has the right to tell you how YOU should feel.

That said, you do have a high degree of control over how you feel and how you react to those feelings.   So believing in yourself is more than just believing that your pain is real... it is believing that you have the power to make a difference in this.

I am not ashamed to say that I have battled addiction in my lifetime... I came by it honestly, growing up in a household with two alcoholic parents, and then working myself almost to death for three decades before finally crashing down in a heap about 8 years ago. I hit rock bottom and all but lost everything (luckily, my family and friends stuck by me).  But then I was told that I had to make the decision to change.  Now, I'm not going to tell you that recovering from addiction is the same as recovering from chronic pain. They are very different. But I am telling you that, at some point, you need to have faith that things CAN get better for you... not perfect... your pain and fatigue may never go away entirely... but how they affect you certainly can improve and, with that, they themselves will improve.

And that leads to my next poll question, which is:

Do you believe that the pain and fatigue of fibro can and often do get better?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't know

Go to my homepage and let other readers know what you think.

Kevin White, MD, PhD
Award-winning author, speaker & researcher