Saturday, March 30, 2024

Unearthing author John Kern

A recent trip to the New York Public Library revealed some interesting finds in the archives of Canadian author Robin Hardy (1952-1995). He was a prolific author of men's adventure novels and YA books, all of which were published under pseudonyms or house names when he worked as a writer-for-hire. 

These archives include a number of cover flats that are typically sent to authors for them to approve the final design and text elements. Of great interest were two proofs for books attributed to John Kern, both published in 1988 by Lynx Books: The Falstaff Cross and Outside Man. Could this be yet another pen name used by Hardy?

Unfortunately, there is no other physical evidence tying Hardy to the John Kern books. No contracts, no emails, no notes from the publisher. This would have been around the time that Hardy was also working as a freelance editor, so perhaps that's the connection.

On, the biography for "John Kern" links to Kansan author Steven Linder, who writes westerns and suspense novels. Was this connection made in error, or did Linder use the pseudonym John Kern? If so, did Hardy edit these books? 


The Falstaff Cross (1988)

When rogue agent Nathan Stand exceeds orders and sinks what he's been told is a shipload of IRA guns off the Irish coast, he thinks he's doing his duty...the company doesn't agree. Suspected of treason, Stand is cut loose...expendable. And suddenly he's running for his life.




Outside Man (1988)

A renegade agent is cold-bloodedly shooting down operatives of an elite contract CIA agency known only as the Office. Outside agent Nathan Strand is forced from private life and given one order: track down the killer and take him out.


Unfortunately, there appears to be no online means of contacting Steven Linder.
Mr. Linder, please contact me if you happen to come across this post! 


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