Braille Institute Employee Finally Gets His Wish

DeForest Kelley Up Close and Personal

DeForest Kelley Up Close and Personal Book Cover by German Artist Olivia Vieweg

Audio Book Version of DeForest Kelley Up Close and Personal’ Debuts

Braille Institute employee’s request is finally fulfilled

Seattle, WA     (Yellow Balloon Communications)   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Today Yellow Balloon Communications announced the debut of an audio book version of Kristine M. Smith’s title DeForest Kelley Up Close and Personal: A Harvest of Memories from the Fan Who Knew Him Best.


The book explores the evolution of Smith’s decades’-long friendship with the late actor and his wife, Carolyn. Smith says, “If not for a question that DeForest Kelley’s biographer, Terry Rioux, asked me—one I couldn’t answer, I didn’t think—I probably never would have written it, even though De gave me permission. The question Terry posed was, ‘How did you go from being a fan, on the outermost reaches of fandom, to being at his bedside when he passed away?’


“I thought that was a question that only De or Carolyn could answer. But as it turned out, all I had to do was connect the dots. I went back into my myriad journals and phone logs and followed the bread crumbs. What I discovered became the foundation of the 348-page book.”


“The audio book version has been a long time coming,” the author confessed. “It was first suggested to me by an employee of the Braille Institute in Los Angeles in 2001 but, ham-handed as I was at the time, the audio files I narrated at that time just weren’t up to snuff.


“This year I was able to record the book using Audacity instead of an ancient tape recorder. Then I turned fellow Star Trek/DeForest Kelley fan and audio engineer Rod Janpol loose with the files—including a series of actual voicemail messages that I received from Carolyn and DeForest Kelley, Harve Bennett, AC Lyles, Tippi Hedren and other notable names. Rod has turned the audio files, including the voicemail messages, into something we’re both proud to put our names to.”


The title—available on Kindle and in two soft cover editions since January 2016—is garnering 5-star reviews at Amazon and other online retailers. But the new audio book and PDF version of the title are available exclusively at


Smith explains, “The prices of the bound editions were out of reach for some fans because of the percentages that Amazon takes. I wanted to make sure the audio book version was going to be something fans could easily afford, so I created it in-house and am listing it in-house. And I created the PDF version for fans who don’t care about having a book they can hold in their hands. Offering it as a PDF lets readers have the story and all of the images in full color at a price everyone can afford—which was the goal all along.”



For more information about the author or the book, contact the author at or at