The Harmony Arms
“As a poet and a fiction writer I have worked and reworked my childhood to such an extent that a reality shortage set in long ago,” Ronald Koertge told Authors & Artists for Young Adults. “I would much rather have an interesting childhood than a so-called true one, anyway.”
The son of a farmer who went into the military during World War II, the writer grew up surrounded by his mother and two aunts in what he has described as a happy childhood. His parents later opened an ice cream business. Koertge began writing while in high school.
In 1962, he received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Illinois. He received a master's from the University of Arizona in 1965. After that, he began seeking publication of his writing. A poet as well as a prose writer, he is concerned about language and the sound of his writing.
Finding much of young adult fiction dull, he spiced his first effort in that field, Where the Kissing Never Stops, with a hero who craves junk food, whose mother works at a burlesque parlor, and whose girlfriend is a mall lover. Within all this, he created compelling, earnest characters. Betty Carter described Where the Kissing Never Stops: “In a warmly humorous first-person narrative, seventeen-year-old