Ken Raymond
Features Book Editor

Ken Raymond is the book editor. He joined The Oklahoman in 1999. He has won dozens of state, regional and national writing awards. Three times he has been named the state's "overall best" writer by the Society of Professional Journalists.

In 2011, his feature story on a traveling sideshow won first place in its category in the national Society for Features Journalism competition. In 2013, he won the Sweepstakes Award for best story in the Associated Press/Oklahoma News Executives contest.

A longtime crime and news reporter, he joined the Life staff in January 2011 and was named book editor in 2013.

He lives in Edmond with his wife, Amy, who also works at The Oklahoman, and four dogs (three Italian greyhounds and a Chihuahua).

  • Comics signing and new book set in Oklahoma

    Ken Raymond | Updated: 10 hr ago

    Here are a couple things you won't want to miss. AUTHOR WILL SIGN VIKING COMIC NORMAN — Writer/artist Natasha Alterici will be signing her comic series, “Heathen,” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Speeding Bullet Comics, 614 N Porter Ave. in Norman.  In “Heathen,” a young Viking woman is on a mission to end the tyrannical reign of god-king Odin during a time of warfare, slavery and the subjugation of women. For more information on the comic, go to For more information on the signing, go to or call 360-6866.

  • Big day in literary history (with video)

    Ken Raymond | Yesterday

    Tarzan was born on this day in 1912. Sort of. Edgar Rice Burroughs first installment of "Tarzan of the Apes" was published in a magazine on Aug. 27, 1912 -- introducing the world to a character Burroughs would revisit 25 times. The character later was taken up by other writers, appearing in more novels, cartoons and full-length motion pictures, including one that featured Bo Derek at the height of her popularity and another, more comical version (based on the derivative cartoon character "George of the Jungle) starring Brendan Fraser. Today, Tarzan is mostly remembered in broad strokes: He's the son of white nobles who get stranded on the African coast. His parents die, and he becomes a feral child, taken in by apes.

  • Book signing on Thursday

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    FULL CIRCLE BOOKSTORE, 50 Penn Place •Matt Van Steenwyk will sign copies of his book, “A Wolf at the Gate,” beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The book is described as “a retelling of the legend of Saint Francis and Wolf ... (that) explores what it means to be a peacemaker.

  • Guthrie's ghoulish ghosts

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    In case you missed this in Sunday's paper ... HAUNTINGS IN GUTHRIE Jeff Provine is becoming Oklahoma’s foremost expert on ghosts. After going on European ghost tours in the mid-2000s, he came back to the Oklahoma and founded the University of Oklahoma Ghost Tour as a charity walk in 2009.  He published two books about ghosts. “Campus Ghosts of Norman” was followed last year by “Haunted Norman, Oklahoma.” Both are collections of stories about purported paranormal activities on the OU campus or in the surrounding city. Now he’s back with another book, co-authored by Tanya McCoy, one of the founders of the Oklahoma Paranormal Association.

  • Read my latest column, 'Counting the change'

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    Have you ever had someone push you to be something other than what you are? Maybe your Mom wanted you to take home economics classes even though you knew you were headed for a boardroom. Maybe your friends want you to calm down or smile more or flirt less. In my case, my Dad wanted me to be a leader. He was just trying to help me have a better life, but it made me feel as if I was never good enough. Took a long time for me to figure things out.  This month's column focuses on that. Parents push because they want the best for us ... but sometimes they push too hard. Check out "Purely Subjective: Counting the change." If you like it,

  • Purely Subjective: Counting the change

    By Ken Raymond Book Editor | Published: Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    The Oklahoman's book editor gives an account of his father's attempts to shape him into leader.

  • Oklahoma book signings

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Sun, Aug 23, 2015

    Book signings in Oklahoma

  • Book review: 'Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship' by Robert Kurson

    By Ken Raymond Book Editor | Published: Sun, Aug 23, 2015

    Search for pirates yields little booty. While much of the journey was fun, it went on too long and produced too little reward. I liked the book, but … give me gold any day.

  • Don't miss these book signings

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Fri, Aug 21, 2015

    BEST OF BOOKS, 1313 E Danforth Road, Edmond Oklahoma Book Award winner Sonia Gensler will speak about and sign copies of her newest book, “Ghostlight,” which recently was released by Alfred A. Knopf, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Sonia’s Oklahoma award was for “The Revenant,” and she was a finalist for “The Dark Between.” OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY-OKLAHOMA CITY, third floor of Student Center, 900 N Portland Doug Tallamy, author of two books about native plants, will speak at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Tallamy also will speak at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Tulsa Garden Center, 2435 S Peoria, Tulsa.

  • Debut novel, "Maud's Line," is set in Oklahoma

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Thu, Aug 20, 2015

    "Maud's Line," the debut novel by Margaret Verble, is based on her Cherokee family's stories and set on the family's allotment land in 1920s Eastern Oklahoma. That alone should make it interesting to many Oklahomans.   What's better, Verble, who lives in Kentucky and England, proves herself a talented writer -- talented enough for her first book to land at a major publishing house, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt , and talented enough for critics to cover it in praise. Here are the basics: The book "chronicles the life of a headstrong, earthy heroine, and the many loves of her life," according to press materials. "The young and magnetic Maud dreams of escaping the isolation and tediousness of farm life;

  • Tonight, a book signing for hunters

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Wed, Aug 19, 2015

    All I know about hunting comes from two books: Arthur H. Neumann's "Elephant Hunting in East Equatorial Africa" (1898) and John Henry Patterson's "The Man-Eaters of Tsavo" (1907).   The latter book -- which records, among other things, Patterson's hunt for two man-eating lions who'd fed on perhaps as many as 135 natives and railroad workers -- inspired three films, including the 1996 thriller "The Ghost and the Darkness," starring Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas. The movie exaggerated the story for dramatic effect, of course, but the lions were quite real. Each measured nearly 10 feet long, and their stuffed bodies can be seen at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History.

  • "Find the Good" is so nice, we've reviewed it twice

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Mon, Aug 17, 2015

    In early May, The Oklahoman ran a book review of "Find the Good" by Heather Lende (Algonquin Books, 162 pages, in stores). It was a positive review. I was satisfied with it. But then Dennie Hall -- who was the newspaper's book editor long before I took the job -- sent me a second review of Lende's book last night. Dennie had written the review, of course, and I found it to be so good I knew I had to publish it. Easiest way to get that done is to publish it here, online only, where you can see it right away. I hope you enjoy his review. Read it below.

  • Will Rogers fly-in on Saturday; read more about the man

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Fri, Aug 14, 2015

    The annual Will Rogers and Wiley Post fly-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch, 9501 E 380 Road, Oolagah. It's a great event for fans of Oklahoma's most famous humorist and aviation buffs. In addition to all the planes flying in and landing, there will be an antique/classic car show, food, inflatables and Cherokee storytelling. At 10 a.m., attendees will observe a moment of silence in honor of those who, like Rogers and Post, perished in small aircraft accidents. Admission is free. Odds are good that you'll want to learn more about Rogers once you attend the event. The folks at the Will Rogers Memorial Museums were kind enough to send me a review of a 2011 book, "Will Rogers:

  • Meet author David Farris

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Thu, Aug 13, 2015

    This week has been light on book signings, but there's one coming up that you won't want to miss -- especially if you're interested in Oklahoma history. Author David Farris will give a presentation and sign copies of his latest book, "Edmond & Guthrie, A Little Off the Tracks: The Lesser Known of Two Oklahoman Towns," from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Best of Books, 1313 E Danforth Rd, Edmond.    I haven't read the book or met Mr. Farris, but I'm confident his book will contain plenty of surprises. I looked into Guthrie's black history several years ago and was shocked by how much I didn't know about the state's former capital.

  • What do "Red Dawn" and Virginia Woolf have in common?

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Mon, Aug 10, 2015

    On this day in 1912, Virginia Stephen married Leonard Woolf, thus uniting two talented writers and sexual libertines. Virginia Woolf, who was British, penned such classics as "To the Lighthouse," "A Room of One's Own," "Mrs. Dalloway" and "Orlando."  The couple were part of a group of progressive intellectuals and writers known as the Bloomsbury Group, after the place where she grew up. Among the other members were author E.M. Forster, best known as the author of the 1924 novel "A Passage to India," and John Maynard Keyes, a macroeconomist whose ideas are still talked about today ... especially during election cycles.

  • Can horror come back from the dead?

    By Ken Raymond Book Editor | Published: Sun, Aug 9, 2015

    Horror in general is a reliable money-maker in the movie industry, mainly because scary flicks usually have small budgets and make back what was spent. But woe to the humble horror novelists, because relatively little money makes its way to them.

  • Book review: “The Border” by Robert McCammon

    Ken Raymond Book Editor | Published: Sat, Aug 8, 2015

    "The Border" by Robert McCammon could be characterized as science fiction, but the writing makes it horror. McCammon has done again what he does best: Destroy the world, populate it with survivors and pit them against each other in a supernatural war with everything at stake.

  • Book review: 'The Scarlet Gospels' by Clive Barker

    By Ken Raymond Book Editor | Published: Sat, Aug 8, 2015

    Clive Barker closes book on demonic Pinhead

  • Kon-Tiki

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Fri, Aug 7, 2015

    Thanks to for reminding me of this. On this day in 1947, Thor Heyerdahl and his adventurous companions completed their "4,300-mile, 101-day journey from Peru to Raroia in the Tuamotu Archipelago, near Tahiti."  Heyerdahl, an anthropologist from Norway, had a theory that people from South America populated the Polynesian islands by allowing the sea's natural currents to carry freely their lightweight balsa rafts. So he and his friends went to Peru to build their own balsa raft, constructed of materials the prehistoric South Americans might've had on hand. Timbers were held together with ropes made of natural fibers. Heyerdahl and company even built a sort of cabin atop the boat to provide relief from the

  • Writing contest accepting entries

    Ken Raymond | Updated: Fri, Aug 7, 2015

    Is your writing witty, plain-spoken and to the point? If so, you may have what it takes to win the Will Rogers Writing Contest, which is going on this month and is conducted by the Will Rogers Writers Foundation.  Rogers, described as a "cowboy philosopher" in a news release, is one of Oklahoma's enduring figures, despite his death in 1935. Aug. 15 marks the 80th anniversary of the Alaska plane crash that killed him and aviator Wiley Post. Rogers was "an expert trick roper, star of stage, screen and radio, book author, newspaper columnist, aviation enthusiast, goodwill ambassador and humanitarian," the release notes. He was also the nation's foremost humorist.