Steve Newvine: Columnist, author, service club speaker

Steve Newvine- Our Community Story columnist on mercedcountyevents.com, author, and service club speaker

For the better part of this decade, I have had the honor of writing twice monthly columns for mercedcountyevents.com.

The word “honor” was chosen carefully.

The Our Community Story column has given me the opportunity to travel the highways and backroads of California, see unique sites, meet special people, and share stories about growing up in upstate New York.

Writing is what I do.  

Starting with an associates’ degree from Herkimer College and followed up with a bachelor degree from Syracuse University, I entered the workforce professionally four decades ago for a fruitful career in local television news.  

As a television journalist at several stations for thirteen years, I wrote news stories, reported from the scene of major events, and produced documentaries.  In that career, I was honored with a few awards for writing and producing.

The next chapter for me was the chamber of commerce executive where, among other things, I wrote and edited newsletters and travel brochures.  

In 2007 when I entered the public utility arena, I started writing books during my weekends and time away from the office. 

California Back Roads is my most recent book.  

It features three-dozen essays about California.  While many of the essays centers on Merced County where I live, several stories are about places and people far away from the Central Valley.

 I begin with an essay that explains the “where the palm meets the pine” phrase we often hear about Central California. The chapters take the reader to Alcatraz, to the place that honors actor James Dean, and several profiles of outstanding Californian soldiers.


I’ve written an average of a book a year for the past decade.

 Two of my books are family memoirs:  Growing Up, Upstate and Grown Up, Going Home are about my formative years in Port Leyden, New York.

 If you grew up in a small town or was blessed with closely knit family, both of these books might help you get in touch with those precious memories.

Two other books are compilations of book excerpts, columns from mercedcountyevents.com. and an occasional dose of fiction.  

Microphones, Moon Rocks, and Memories along with Friend Through the End each include over thirty essays on all sorts of things that have touched my life.  

Two novels have come from my imagination with a hint of real characters whose paths I have crossed.  

My first fictional work was Ten Minutes to Air about a former television journalist who is framed for murder and who becomes a reluctant private detective to clear his name.

 Sign On at Sunrise is about a young college student who works at a radio station while going to school in the mid-1970s.

Other books include a short work of non-fiction called Finding Bill.   It details my journey to learn more about my uncle Bill from his fellow soldiers in Vietnam.


9 From 99, Experiences from California’s Central Valley is a travel book that features highlights from my first seven years of living in the Golden State and driving on historic highway 99.  

I start the journey in Stockton and then end up in Bakersfield and beyond to Hollywood.

In my spare time, I teach two sessions on soft skills to participants in the Love Plus life skills program based on the principles of my book Soft Skills for Hard Times.  

The book takes my work experiences and turns them into learning examples for people looking for a competitive edge in work and success in life. 

The writing process for me has changed in recent years.  

In the past, I would give myself a year to use my free time to write a specific project.  I would begin in January with a rough outline, finish a draft in spring, refine the manuscript over the summer, and rewrite in the early fall.  Publishing would take place in time for Christmas gift-giving.

In the last few years, I’ve taken more time to focus on my twice-monthly mercedcountyevents.com columns, while putting ideas for future projects in a file for a later date.

 In 2019, I will publish my next book.  It may be a return of one of the formats I’ve used in the past: non-fiction, memoir, and novel, it may explore new areas such as my faith journey or a compilation of several fictional short stories. 

As we used to say in the television news business, stay tuned.  

Steve Newvine  ~  Merced, California


Steve is available for service club program speeches and other public speaking events. 


You can reach him at: stevenewvine@sbcglobal.net