Tag Archives: Novel

Talk About Being in the Right Place at the Right Time . . . “Burp!”

I caught the cooking bug a few years back and dove head first into the world of gourmet food. I became a foodie and followed that trail for quite a few years. The job I had at the time fell in place with fine wine and dining. Talk about being in the right place at the right time . . . “burp!”`

I found myself able to travel the country sampling exceptional eats and drink.

One of my earlier novels contained several large banquets of exotic fare due to a post-apocalyptic earth. I received several reviews that thought the book needed to reduce the time characters spent sitting around a table shoving their faces full of food.`

I still enjoy fine dining occasionally, but my pallet thankfully has reverted to enjoying simpler fare. Give me a well-dressed hot dog or brat. If not a dog, then a perfectly grilled burger, toppings unlimited.

 I do have to draw the line at certain fast food. If the material used to prepare my meal is shipped by tractor trailer, frozen and ready to drop into hot grease, it’s probably not for me. If the burger whinnies and the chicken’s . . . well, not really chicken beyond a reasonable doubt, I’d probably pass it by.

If I’m in the mood for a pizza and the eateries offering more resembles or worse tastes like Bisquick and Ketchup, I’ll make a B-line to an Italian restaurant where English is a foreign language.

I grew up on grandma’s fried chicken. What I find most ironic in this day and age is your average person either cannot or will not attempt to fry a piece of chicken. This usually arises for fear of overcooking the outside and the inside remaining underdone.

Here’s where I pile kudos on top of the fried chicken, fast food industry. They have cooking chicken down to such a science; a high school student can fry a perfect batch without fail. Come to think of it, I’m getting a taste for something crunchy like, with a good bit of spice . . . gotta go, have a great week!

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Is Planned Obsolescence Growing Obsolete?

Most of the things we use today are planned to last a certain amount of time. To me one of the most irritating objects made with this “planned obsolescence” is the light bulb. We use them in every room of the house–our ovens, refrigerators, automobiles. I even have several in my writer’s room; not just several bulbs, but several different types.

Many of my novels take place in wild areas where electricity is not available to power a conventional light source. Due to this unfortunate situation I am forced to lean on natural luminescence of one type or another or utilized sunlight for my comings and goings.

In my day to day life, incandescent bulbs are becoming a thing of the past. Back in the days of their popularity I’ve seen them last several months or blow as soon as electricity touched the filament.

This brings about a question. Why are some light bulbs still burning after a 100 years as opposed to the bulbs of today making it a few months before going dark? I know that carbon was used for the filaments in bulbs of yesteryear, while today we have gone to tungsten.

It just rubs me the wrong way to build something that will purposely fail after a short time on the job.

We all have things that crawl under our collar and gnaw away. Just thought I would share one of mine with you. Have a great week . . . I’ll be in touch soon.   

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The Place I Can Always Call Home

After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and finding I could no longer perform physical labor, writing (a gift from an adoring God) became my passion. As I began my first novel, Rising Tide, I found myself gravitating in my writing toward my faith as a Christian. I knew the manuscript would be written in the genre of Science Fiction with bits of fantasy dispersed throughout, but I would never have been able to anticipate a mixture of Christian fiction mingled within each book I penned. Rising Tide would years later become a series with three published books and a fourth in the works. Terminal Core is a standalone science fiction/action adventure novel that was published in 2016 and Dalon Con (the Essence of Time) is in the editing process.

I shy away from offensive language and sexual situations; however, when you’re killing demons and they are trying to return the favor, a healthy dose of violence is unavoidable.

Melding the many tools I have at my disposal into each novel not only allows me to work at something I love, but more importantly, gives me a way to serve God by spreading the good news of his son, Jesus. For those who would not normally read Christian literature, I find the message is better received when presented within a story, which makes this  ministry another way of service!

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Do Chipmunks Scheme About Hassling Hounds?

Anthropomorphism (giving human characteristics to an animal) was probably solidified in this day and age by Walt Disney. That’s just my opinion, but given that and $3.00, you could come away with a decent cup of coffee.

I find myself guilty of this many times over. Not just people talk in my novels, but the majority of creatures with a heartbeat tend to spew out conversational pieces better than most Americans. Of course, American English being what it is, speaking it in some form is not a difficult feat.

The all-time voice of voices was Mel Blanc. Able to stream the dialogue from every character in a single cartoon, including Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird and everyone in between, was absolutely amazing.

Fortunately, as I write I am able to see and hear my characters as I create them. Even the ambient noise comes to life as I pen each novel. I am so appreciative to God for giving me the ability to place my imagination on paper. Now it’s up to me not to blow it!

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Be it Old or be it New, Everything Starts With an Upside That Eventually Turns Woefully Obsolete

I’m looking at my HP processor, ergonomic keyboard and wireless mouse. This takes me back to the first computer I purchased. In fact, I still own that magical scientific appliance today. This PC was none other than a Packard Bell with just over 570 MB of storage capacity. This marvelous machine held a massive 8 MB of RAM expandable to an unbelievable 16 MB. The futuristic remote storage system (known as a floppy disk) allowed the user to store and transport 1.44 MB at will.

What more could you possibly want? You could give this PC a command and have time to pull a drink from the refrigerator and be back to your seat before the command was fulfilled. To keep the fact that I was working to be a writer away from prying eyes, I used this computer, being as it was stored in a remote part of the house. I didn’t have WORD on this computer, so I wrote in Note Pad. The real trick to operating this piece of retro gold, was trying to transfer media from a floppy disk to a CPU that used USB ports and flash drives for storage.

You know, all in all, I don’t guess it was so bad. If I think back to the days of H.G. Wells, I can’t imagine typing on an actual typewriter and doing edits and re-writes on such an archaic device. I’m sure I complained back in the day, when the Packard Bell was the computer to end all computers, simply because of the lack of processing speed, but then again, isn’t everything relative?   

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Books Can be Wonderful, Despicable, Life-Changing, and in Some Cases Down Right Diabolical. If You’re an Author, They’re all the Above.

I’m working on a new novel. On the one hand, I love every minute I put into it. On the other ,I’ve set the bar so high with twists, turns, numerous factions, dimensional travel, time travel, giant people, little people and a plethora of creatures, some good, most bad that the manuscript, at times, falls from my good graces. Each time I begin a new manuscript, my aim is to hold the reader’s attention, to draw them into the novel, and make them feel as though they are living the story along with the characters.

The closest thing I could compare it with would be a dream that faded into reality once you awoke. The world of writing is unique unto itself. You create worlds and characters that readers become passionate about, yet only exist in their minds. To take it one step further, each reader would have a slightly different conception of the same book. It gets to be mind-boggling if you give it too much consideration. A good book can be cathartic for the reader and author though not necessarily for the same reason. I can only go a day or two without writing; else I start Jonesing. That being said. I suppose my mission is clear.

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If You’re Fortunate Enough to Get There, It Ain’t Gonna Happen Fast. So Get Ready For a Long Slow Ride

A thought entered my cranium this morning. If I could change anything over the years of writing, what would it be?

The many short stories I penned with the intention of submitting them to magazines? Having published works would give me more credence in the eyes of publishers and agents once I completed my first novel.

Learning how to write the perfect query, so my pitch would not be trashed before the first paragraph had been read?

Maybe the thousands of emails I sent to perspective agents, even though literary agents received thousands of queries each year, accepting less than 1% of what they choose to read?

The endless search for a small press, who would accept unsolicited manuscripts?

Perhaps the writing of a novel along with the endless rewrites and edits taking more time than the writing of the original manuscript?

Then there are several rounds of rewrites and edits once it reaches the publisher.

There’s artwork to consider, back matter, acknowledgements, dedications and finally a finished product.

And now the work begins and I can sum it up in one word: Marketing! This, in and of itself will require your constant attention as long as you continue to write.

Looking back, is there anything I would change? . . . Nah!

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Deadly Reign Outline

Ben, Eve and Pete continue to push through this new Earth as the world sinks deeper into corruption. They gain new allies, including an intellectual animal equipped with the gift of speech. They are forced to battle six aberrations (beasts and riders) deemed nearly indestructible. The environment has manifested into a frigid terrain with the sun lost in the ice filled cloud cover. Swords forged especially for the riders by the riders offer another layer of defense to an already superior force. The humans have deduced that water may possibly be a weapon, but a weapon that even now is freezing at an accelerated rate.

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Occasionally Something Will Take a Long Time. I Don’t Mean a Long Time, I Mean a Looooong Time

Once I completed and published my first novel, Rising Tide, I decided the ending left a question  the reader could use their imagination to determine. This would leave an air of mystique surrounding the book’s conclusion and therefore, not be a good candidate for a sequel.

After being asked if there would be a follow-up to Rising Tide, I was hit with “A light bulb moment.” It took four months to complete the rough draft of book two titled, Eden’s Wake. Without a break, I  began the first re-write. It went fairly well, but I knew I needed some time away from the book. I obeyed my “time away” inclination and turned to work on other projects. Needless to say, this new path didn’t last long and I found myself working on Eden’s Wake’s third re-write. After completing this stage of what was becoming the abyss known as Eden’s Wake, I began to pen the third book in the series, Deadly Reign. The new manuscript went surprisingly well and I found myself pleased with the first draft.

From time to time I would delve into my dark side for a good dose of self-abuse and pull out Eden’s Wake for yet another re-write. During this time of back and forth I completed Deadly Reign, including re-writes. I was satisfied the third manuscript in the series was ready for submission; however, (and this is important) when you are writing a series, the books are normally numbered 1,2,3 and so on; therefore, you can see my conundrum.

After another re-write or two with my parasitic twin, Eden’s Wake, I began a stand-alone science fiction manuscript titled, Terminal Core. As I wrote this new offering, I continued to work on Eden’s Wake. I finally made a decision that surprised even me. Being too hardheaded to trash the troublesome manuscript and having invested years, I made major changes. My new mantra was, gut, re-write, gut, re-write. This worked and seven years after Eden’s Wake’s conception, it was published, April 27, 2015 and I was finally satisfied.

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What People Are Saying About TERMINAL CORE:

eDianne

Jul 29, 2017Dianne rated it ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ really liked it  · review of another edition
They were a small band of rebels, determined to save their planet from the greed and corruption of off-worlders bent on milking its very core dry. Aon isn’t a very large planet, but its core is very special, priceless, actually and there are those who will stop at nothing to have every last piece of it, destroying both the planet and its inhabitants. As good takes on evil in the battle to save Aon, the core itself comes alive with deadly creatures bent on self-preservation and no one is safe.
The Wild West meets Science Fiction in Lynn Steigleder’s TERMINAL CORE as an off-world mining company will try anything to own the priceless element, caladium, including killing a planet.
Characters with simple grit and pluck come to life as futuristic tools able to create everything from food to clothes with a thought let us know that we are NOT home on the range and those horses are not from Earth. Feel like you are in a creative warp between the nineteenth century west and a futuristic sci-fi adventure. This tale of survival will keep readers firmly planted on Aon soil, at least until the core creatures come out to play.Clever writing, interesting characters and a unique spin on other world survival, this is one for the “must try this,” pile! Lynn Steigleder has his creative juices on a rolling boil!I received this copy from Lynn Steigleder in exchange for my honest review.

Ashley Tomlinson

Jun 02, 2017Ashley Tomlinson rated it ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ really liked it

This was one of the most unique, out there books I’ve ever read. It was highly creative which made me want to keep reading. It’s completely different from other sci-fi books that I read which I was worried about when I started it. I read a lot of science fiction books and because of that, I’ve read a lot of what feels like the same book written in a different way. Thankfully this book was on a level on its own and I loved it.

The chapters were really short which I liked at first but after a while it made the story feel jumpy. Like it would jump from scene to scene, character to character and it got frustrating the deeper into the story I got. That’s probably just a personal preference, though. I tend to like stories with one POV so when I read a book with multiple POV’s I favor one and it can make things difficult for me. The world building made up for any POV issues I may have had. It was amazing, I felt like I was in the story too.

I liked the wild wild west feeling I got while reading this, especially with the first few chapters. I also got a Men in Black vibe a time or two. All in all, this was a very interesting Science Fiction that really drew me into the story and didn’t let me go. I highly recommend it. (less)

Brittany

Jan 22, 2017Brittany rated it ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ it was amazing
This was definitely one of those outside the box books. The plot was very creative, which is a nice change from the same old boring stuff a lot of authors recycle over and over again. If you are looking for something new I would highly recommend this book!

Wesley Britton

Jul 31, 2017 Wesley Britton rated it ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦  really liked it

 

Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton

I’m far from the first reviewer to point out the obvious—that Terminal Core is certainly sci fi, but it’s also filled to the brim with the flavor of the old, wild American west. On the remote, small planet of Aon (which has a solid core made from Calladium, the most valuable element in the universe), cities no longer exist and the world is very much like an open frontier. Characters wear Stetson hats and cowboy boots and ride horse-like six-legged animals carrying saddle-bags. Some characters speak in dialects that would be equally appropriate for 19th century ranch hands, cattle drivers, or prospectors. On this world of mostly men, much time is spent engaged in drunken fist fights inside old-fashioned saloons where everyone wants their whiskey.

On this back-water world, earth’s president and some duplicitous humans plan to destroy Aon to harvest its valuable core. To accomplish this, crude oil from Earth is shipped to Aon, refined and used to dissolve Calladium. In response, an animated, telepathic being that lives in Calladium incongruously calling itself J. Smith takes two of his “bug thugs” and two human hostages to earth to destroy the extraction centers for the oil. Even more frightening are the lethal creatures on Aon that burrow through earth and flesh. It’s as if the planet is defending itself against the intrusive offworlders.

As the story progressed, told with various points of view recounting a batch of alternating storylines, I was reminded of the novels of L. Sprague de Camp, especially his books of light, entertaining adventure populated by humanoids living among strange aliens using weird, exotic technology. De Camp didn’t explore speculative themes but rather took readers to faraway worlds where nothing was intended to provoke deep thought. Seems to me, Lynn Steigleder is in that tradition.

While not publicized as a YA novel, I think that readership would be an ideal target audience for Terminal Core, especially when all the frightening “monsters” start popping up from the ground. Likewise, I’d think Baby Boomers who might be a bit nostalgic for the breed of sci fi adventure stories we got to read before “hard science fiction” came to dominate sci fi might enjoy a book that is simple entertainment. I’ve read reviews that suggest that fans of Western stories might like Terminal Core, but I’m rather doubtful about that. As it goes along, Terminal Core becomes less and less earth-like with the settings, characters, devices and animals more and more fantastic and unusual.

Yes, Terminal Core is often grisly but few modern readers are going to be put off by weird creatures eating or squashing people and other biped species. The violence kicks into serious high gear in the final chapters when a band of hearty humans battle a relentless tide of killer beasts trying to exterminate all the humans on Aon. I must admit, the final sentences of the book are the most out-of-left-field twists I’ve ever read. Seems to me, the conclusion is a bit gratuitous—to say more would be a major spoiler. And as Terminal Core is apparently planned to be a stand-alone saga, you might find yourself fantasizing your own sequel to Lynn Steigleder’s very imaginative grand finale.

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