Author Credit

Pub. Data


The Golden Fleece

William Shears

Dell, 1969

Sex comedy. Not likely you'll find this one anywhere, although after I put this site up, I did hear from a couple of college students who told me that the William Shears novels had a cult following. They actually are pretty funny. My editor at Dell was Bob Abel, originally my editor at The Realist, and one of the great men in his field. Bob signed up The Golden Fleece when I was unemployed and desperate, then went over the manuscript with a deft red pencil. It may have been soft-core paperback throwaway, but Bob took it as seriously as a great editor takes any manuscript that comes over his desk. His notes -- make this funnier -- sharper dialogue here -- why would he do this? -- overwitten -- underwritten -- this doesn't follow -- were a blueprint for professionalism, and rewriting the manuscript from Bob's notes was the best writing course I ever took. The Golden Fleece was on Dell's best seller list that summer, right under Mary, Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser.

Up All the Way

William Shears

Dell, 1970

The second in series that was destined never to go any further. I actually wrote a third, called Ward Bobb Goes Women's Lib. where with Bob's encouragement, I took it more into Realist-type satire, but then Bob left Dell, the book never came out, and somewhere along the line I lost the manuscript.

Cherokee Bill

Tad Richards
Jonathan F. Richards

Dell, 1974

I wrote this with my brother, and it was a move into the mainstream. It's a historical novel based on real-life characters--the outlaw Cherokee Bill, lawyer J. Warren Reed, and "Hanging Judge" Isaac Parker of the Federal Court in Fort Smith, Arkansas. It was optioned for a movie by Hecther Ubarry (Crocodile Dundee 2). It begins with an evocation of a very strange time -- the beginning of the creation of the legend of the Wild West, at a time when the reality was less than a decade old. Jon and I became fascinated as our research into these legendary figures and this legendary time showed us more and more that these were real people, living in a real America. Judge Parker's gallows built for twelve on the main street of Fort Smith, Arkansas (the inspiration for Clint Eastwood's Hang 'em High, among other stories) was not much admired by the city fathers of Fort Smith, who would have preferred that their hometown be known for its modern sewage system.

Blazing Saddles

Tad Richards

Warner Paperback Library, 1975

A novelization of the Mel Brooks movie. I wrote this for Bob Abel at WPL, who asked me for something that would work as a book. It would need to be a little longer that the screenplay, in order to fill out the requisite number of pages for even a skinny book, and it would have to make the movie's sight gags work in prose. So I went to work on it with that in mind, but it turned out that WPL had an unusual deal with Brooks, where he got final approval over the novelization, and he did not like the changes I had made. "Doesn't this guy realize," he said, "that this screenplay is in the great comic tradition of Chaplin and Keaton and 'The Procucers.'" We had a meeting of about half an hour, during which he called me by name at least 40 times, either to show me what a regular guy he was, or to make sure he remembered it. Anyway, the message was simple enough. Take out everything I had put in, and just put transitions in between the dialog units. Literary equivalents of the sight gags? Forget it. Just describe the sight gags. They even held a special screening of the movie for me, so I could take notes on gags that hadn't made it into the shooting script, and make sure the novelization didn't miss one golden moment.

Park Avenue Executioner

David Wilson

Award Books, 1975

This one was kind of a throwaway -- a novelization of a McCloud movie-for-TV. But one of those little commercial-fiction stories: Working from the TV script, I novelized a scene early on where McCloud teaches the heroine how to drink tequila, with the salt and the lime and all. Then later on, there's a crucial-to-the-plot scene where McCloud is under house arrest in his hotel, because his unorthodox investigative techniques are threatening to cause a war with Mexico. He manages to escape by pretending to get drunk (actually, he's feeding the booze to the potted plants. His pal Brockhurst, who's guarding him, gets him back up to his room, and dumps him, snoring, on his bed. He returns to the two young ladies with whom they've been drinking, chuckling over the incident, when he recalls -- "My God, I just remembered--McCloud doesn't drink!" He races back up to the room, but McCloud has already escaped to save the girl and catch the bad guys.

But what about the tequila scene earlier? This may have satisfied the NBC continuity department, but it didn't satisfy me. So I changed the line to "My God, I just remembered--McCloud can really hold his liquor!"

The Killing Place

Tad Richards

Dell, 1976

This has been optioned for the screen several times, most notably by Howard Hawks in 1976 and as a vehicle for Raul Julia in 1992, but it never quite happened. It's a suspense novel set in the Appalachian mountains, in which a young federal marshall is forced to reconnect with the roots he thinks he has left behind.

Mistress of the Western Wind

Jessica Richards

Jove, 1978

Historical romance about the clipper ship era, which made use of a lot of research on the real roles women played in what's generally believed to have been exclusively a man's world, including the fact that the wives of clipper captains often used to sail with them, and that on occasion, they took over command of the ship from ailing or incapacitated husbands.

A Generation Apart

J. T. Richards

Jove, 1980

Written with my brother. The first volume of a trilogy about the early days of the American labor movement, from the Civil War through the 1870s. My father thought this was the best book I ever wrote. It begins the story of three generations of Americans whose lives are shaped by the economic struggles of the 19th and early 20th centuries. John Whitmarsh is a remittance man, the younger son of British lord, who comes to America to fight in the civil war, marries into a Pennsylvania coal mining family, and becomes a crusading small town journalist. Historical figures his path crosses include coal baron Franklin Gowen, Pinkerton agent James McParlan, and the so-called Molly Maguire conspirators.

A Generation Aflame

J. T. Richards

Jove, 1981

The second volume of the labor trilogy, covering the last two decades of the 19th century, including the 1877 railroad strike, which very nearly became a national revolution, through the Homestead strike of 1892. It tells the story of John Whitmarsh's three children: Young John, who becomes a crusading labor organizer, Fanny, who becomes the proprietor of New York's most successful gambling casino, and Jamle, who becomes a successful capitalist robber baron.

The Firebrands

J. T. Richards

Jove, 1982

The third volume of the labor trilogy, covering the first two decades of the 20th century. Added to the cast of characters are Jamie's son Roger and Fanny's daughter Dolly, both of whom become involved in the labor wars. Other characters include Clarence Darrow, Big Bill Haywood, and the Wild Buch.

Tempest of Tombstone

Lee Davis Willoughby

Dell, 1982

Historical novel about Wyatt Earp and the woman behind the gunfight at the OK Corral. This is the only fictional treatment of the story, as far as I know, that tells the real reason for the OK Corral showdown: It was between Democrats and Republicans.

To Soar With Eagles

Richard Hale Curtis

Dell, 1982

The first in a series of novels about the development of flight and the aircraft industry.

Depths of Danger

Halsey Clark

Dell, 1983

The submarine service in the South Pacific during World War II.

Through Clouds of Flame

Richard Hale Curtis

Dell, 1983

A family involved in the aircraft industry during World War II.

The Canadians

Lee Davis Willoughby

Dell, 1983

A young woman gets involved with Louis Riel and the Red River Uprising in the 1860s.

The Brain of Agent Blue

Tad Richards and Steven Vorillas

Dell, 1984

The memory cells of dead spy are injected into the brain of a living CIA agent, with terrifying results. Steve Vorillas' background in military intelligence contributed greatly to the plotting of this thriller.

The Virgil Directive

Tad Richards

Dell, 1984

A young American goes over to Marseilles in 1939 to help artists and intellectuals escape from the Nazis. Based loosely on the story of Varian Fry.



Author Credit

Pub. Data>


Great Goalies

Tad Richards

Tempo, 1976

Sports book -- four hockey goalies.

Struggle and Lose, Struggle and Win: The Story of the United Mine Workers

Elizabeth Levy and Tad Richards

Four Winds, 1977

Included in the New York Times of best teenage books of 1977.

Dolly Parton

Otis James

Quick Fox, 1978
Jove reprint, 1979


Wall Street Trivia

Douglas Grunther and Tad Richards

Getchell Press, 1986

A novelization of the Mel Brooks movie.

The New Country Music Encyclopedia

Tad Richards and Melvin B. Shestack)

Simon and Schuster, 1993

The best and most complete guide to the country music scene in one of its golden eras, the late 80s and early 90s

A Penny Saved

Neale S. Godfrey with Tad Richards

Simon and Schuster, 1995

Advice on bringing up financially and socially responsible children. It made the NY Times business, Washington Post, and USA Today best seller lists.

From Cradle To College

Neale S. Godfrey with Tad Richards

HarperCollins, 1996

A complete guide to the financial business of having and raising a child.

Making Change

Neale S. Godfrey with Tad Richards

Simon And Schuster, 1997

New ways for women to approach financial and personal empowerment.

Mom, Inc.

Neale S. Godfrey with Tad Richards

Simon And Schuster, 1999

Moving back and forth between the office and the kitchen.

Money Still Doesn’t Grow on Trees

Neale S. Godfrey with Tad Richards

Rodale Press, 2004

Facts of financial life for teenagers.

The Teen Code

Rhett Z. Godfrey

Rodale Press, 2004

Uncredited co-author. A teenager's guide to talking to your teen..



Author Credit

Pub. Data


The Gravel Business

Tad Richards

Ye Olde Font Shoppe Press,1995

Chapbook, later included in Language Thieves

The Map of the Bear

Tad Richards

Ye Olde Font Shoppe Press, 1995

Another chapbook.

My Night With the Language Thieves

Tad Richards

Ye Olde Font Shoppe Press, 1999


Tad Richards

Ye Olde Font Shoppe Press, 2001

A modern-day epic.

Anthologies, Encyclopedias


Author Credit

Pub. Data>


Sweet Nothings

edited by Jim Elledge

University of Indiana Press, 1994

Poetry about rock and roll.

Chick for a Day

edited by Fiona Giles

Simon and Schuster, 1999

Sex-change poems

The St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture


St. James Press, 2000

Entries on jazz, rhythm and blues, country music, Kansas City jazz, and New Orleans rhythm and blues, as well as numerous entries on individual artists.

The Cancer Poetry Project

edited by Karin B. Miller

Fairview Press, 2001

I contributed an elegy to a lover who'd had a double mastectomy.

The Greenwood Encylopedia of American Poets and Poetry

edited by Jeffrey Gray

Greenwood, 2005

I wrote more entries than any other single contributor.