Kody Newman, 14, can happily point to a bulging bankbook should anyone ask her, "Where's the beef?" Earlier this year the Stanton, Texas teenager scored a hat trick when her three best steers corralled top honors at the Ft. Worth, San Antonio and Houston livestock expositions. The triple victory was, you might say, an un-herd of feat, and her trophies later paid off handsomely—the steers were sold for $231,000 at auction. Still, it was difficult knowing her pets would likely be somebody's steak dinner. "It's like giving away your dog," she says. "It's not easy to let go, but you have to."
Raising cattle comes naturally to the straight-A student, daughter of a well-to-do rancher. Kody bought the calves at her father's annual sale last year and gave them flawless care. She put them on a strict diet including vitamins as well as a special physical regimen that kept them indoors by day and outdoors at night. Kody already has used $5,000 of her earnings to buy two more calves with an eye to other competitions.
Nowadays the cheerleader and member of her junior high school's girls' basketball and track teams (her specialty is the 100-meter dash) can be found in the corral of her family's 7,680-acre ranch practicing calf roping on her horse Spook for her upcoming rodeo competitions. "I hate to sit around the house doing nothing," says Kody.
T.E.D. Klein, 37, likes to say the E stands for "Effort," but with the publication of his first major novel, The Ceremonies (Viking, $16.95), he could change the word to "Excellence." Horror master Stephen King praises Klein's work and believes that Ceremonies may have the impact of The Exorcist. Ceremonies grew out of one of Klein's short stories and is set on a bucolic New Jersey homestead, where one summer a number of horrifying events occur. "I don't set out just to frighten," he says. "What interests me much more is the feeling of awe and wonder, not icky-goo."
T.E.D. (that's Theodore Evan Donald) grew up on Long Island, where his mother taught art and his father was a watch company executive. A Brown University graduate, he taught high school English briefly before enrolling in Columbia University's film school. He soon abandoned plans to be a movie reviewer. "It's not creative," he says. He worked as a script reader and free-lance book editor before becoming editor of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone Magazine, which specializes in supernatural fiction.
Whether he'll ever ascend to King's throne (they are casual acquaintances) is anybody's guess. He certainly has the credentials. "I grew up reading horror comics of the most lurid kind," he says. "Then I couldn't sleep at night without the lights on. My life was one of thrills by day and regrets by night."
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