When Don Kesterson left West Virginia in 1974 to attend the University of South Carolina, he swore he would never come back—except, of course, to visit his parents. Four years later, Kesterson was back in West Virginia, much to his chagrin, employed as a petroleum geologist in the oil and gas industry.
After three years, Kesterson started a consulting petroleum geology practice. His career was built around small oil and gas companies developing Devonian shale wells. Throughout his career, Kesterson built a reputation of being a good researcher, particularly finding old, obscure data and being “tight-lipped when it comes to client’s secrets.” For the next sixteen years, Kesterson’s career was focused mostly on the Appalachian Basin throughout West Virginia and Ohio. There were numerous occasions when his work led him to other areas of the United States.
Then one day Kesterson’s career took an unusual twist; while at his post office, Kesterson bumped into an old family friend, who asked to use his fax machine. This simple act blossomed into a three year relationship with the older gentleman mentoring him in the international business and banking world. As their relationship developed, the mentor introduced him to more of his international contacts and relied on Kesterson more and more for help in analyzing and researching projects. Kesterson’s knowledge of this international business grew, and the more he learned, the more fascinated he became. Throughout that relationship, his mentor often told Kesterson, “Don’t give up your day job.”
One day, the mentor invited Kesterson to his office to show him a gold certificate issued by a world prime bank. A company he was consulting for had asked him to check its validity. While the mentor worked on it from the banking side, Kesterson researched the individual to whom the gold certificate was issued. A little over a year later, the mentor passed away, leaving Kesterson to finish the research and discover what had happened to the gold.
At this point in Kesterson’s career, he was working on the two things that make people crazy—crude oil and gold.
As Kesterson’s research expanded, it began to open doors into other areas of intrigue and deception. What Kesterson didn’t realize was it was opening the door to a potential new career.
After ten years of research, Kesterson had prepared a 1000 page history volume. Once completed, he lined up an editor to prepare the history book for publication. As the editing process moved along, the editor advised him that an exciting novel could be developed from this research and directed Kesterson toward the world of writing fiction.
Not forgetting the advice given so many years ago, Kesterson continued to work his day job. However, he also began plotting and outlining his first novel. Shortly, after finishing his first manuscript, The President’s Gold, Kesterson became so caught up in his characters, he had to have more! Within a few months, Kesterson had created an outline to the prequel of his first book, which provided deeper insight and explanation for the setting of the original book. Writing occupied much of his spare time.
Don resides in Chapin, South Carolina, with his wife of over twenty-five years, Jayne, and his only daughter Amber. In his spare time, besides writing, he is also a runner, an assistant basketball coach at Chapin High School and involved with AAU basketball.
In 2018, Don was introduced to Vietnamese family, the Vuongs, who asked him to write their story of the escape from communist South Vietnam. The patriarch of the family had kept a journal of his life and that of his family up through finally successfully escaping to the US. Kesterson turned his journal into a memoir, Ring of Freedom. This memoir became an Amazon Best Seller.
Kesterson has two novel series out, first, his Gold series is now available, The President’s Gold, an Amazon Best Seller, Gold of the Spirits and Tarnished Gold. His second three novel series he has published is on the Vietnam Conflict, Pawns: Magic Bullet , Pawns: Kings In Check, and Pawns: Stalemate. Then he wrote a Chinese spy novel, Chop Stix. It was based on a historically accurate timeline regarding a spy ring that operated inside the United States for decades.
Don’s latest, Project Echo, is a science fiction novel. The plot has the evil Adolf Eichmann sent back in time to change the outcome of certain events in World War II so that Germany wins the war.
He has plans to write at least two additional novels, based upon real history—not the history taught in school.