|Posted by Steve Linder on 11 June, 2019 at 18:20||comments (104)|
I may not be the most sluggish blogger in the world, but I'm certainly in the running. Another year has gone by, and it's been an eventful one. I have a new granddaughter, Ellie, and my three other grandkids are moving out of Kansas soon, which means that Susan and I will have to do even more traveling in the future.
I finally decided to leave my teaching position at Butler Community College and begin full retirement. My last class was a month ago, and I'm still feeling pretty unmoored. I was proud of my association with Butler, and it feels a little like a piece of my identify is gone. But the time was right. I struggled some in the classroom because my hearing has gotten so poor. I only held on as long as I did through the patience and gracious nature of my students. Their kindness meant more to me than I can possibly express.
I have three new manuscripts nearly ready for publication, but because two of them will be published under a pen name, I won't try to promote them here. Please just buy every book you can afford, and one or two of them may happen to be mine.
|Posted by Steve Linder on 13 June, 2018 at 16:30||comments (5)|
Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I posted the last blog entry. I'd try to explain my sluggish blog behavior by saying I've been busy--and I have been busy--but no more than normal, really. The class I taught in the spring was a challenging one in some ways, but that's really no excuse.
My new western was released and I'm afraid it's disappearing into the vast ocean of other books published in ebook form. I've tried self-publishing for the most recent couple books, and it just hasn't worked out very well. I am the world's worst marketing person, no doubt about it. Independent publishing requires a lot of self-promotion, and I absolutely hate that part of the business.
I have a new suspense novel that's nearly finished, but I won't send this one out into the world until I find another agent to represent it. I'm going back to the old-fashioned way of publishing, even though it will probably slow the process to turtle-time.
|Posted by Steve Linder on 23 January, 2018 at 16:55||comments (0)|
Finally, I've published the new ebook I've been promising for some time. It's a western entitled Poison Springs, and I'm proud of it, whether it enjoys any success or not. All the books I'm writing now are set in my home state of Kansas. My first few books were set in other locales, and that was fine for that point in my life. But now I'm pleased to make Kansas the center of my fiction.
Please look for Poison Springs on Amazon or Smashwords. Anyone who has watched the Netflix series Godless can sense it--westerns are coming back strong.
|Posted by Steve Linder on 25 October, 2017 at 23:50||comments (67)|
I've been binge-watching the great Netflix documentary Last Chance U about community college football and haven't enjoyed anything so much in a long time. I love community colleges, anyway, and am proud to teach at Butler CC. I started watching the series after reading about it in The Wichita Eagle. The first two seasons feature East Mississippi CC, a powerhouse contender each year for the national title. For season 3, they are shooting now in Independence, Kansas, one of Butler's rivals in the Jayhawk Conference. I guess I have to wait until next summer to see those episodes, and I'm already crazy with anticipation.
Seeing the campuses and classrooms is almost as much fun for me as the football scenes. Football is very much a coach's game, which is probably one of the reasons for its immense popularity. Every viewer fancies himself a decent play-caller and strategist, and loves to imagine himself ruling from the sidelines. I'm frequently guilty of that sin, myself. Anyway, I cannot recommend this series highly enough. It's enormous fun to watch all the players, coaches, teachers, and academic advisors struggle to build a successful season together. It will almost make you want to attend college all over again.
|Posted by Steve Linder on 28 August, 2017 at 23:00||comments (971)|
A great friend--yes, I mean you, Wanda--told Susan I should write more often about personal things because we have interesting lives. I don't know if that's true, exactly, but I can say this: I'm grateful for the life I have. Being half-retired allows me to spend a lot of my time on writing and publishing fiction, which is what I love.
I also teach part-time at a community college, and that job lets me feel connected to the outside world and to the young people who take my class. I enjoy getting to know them; that's absolutely the best part of teaching. You can say what you like about millienials, and yes, they are different, but they face a very different world. I only hope the movers and shakers of tomorrow are as bright and well-meaning as the young people I've been fortunate to meet. I have so much to feel grateful for: my wife, my kids, and work that keeps presenting me with new challenges. I can't imagine wanting anything more.
|Posted by Steve Linder on 25 July, 2017 at 17:30||comments (2)|
My wife and I just celebrated our 30th anniversary with a cruise to southeast Alaska. We had a fantastic time seeing whales and glaciers and the amazing landscape of the islands that make up the Inner Passage. We were ridiculously pampered and our accomodations were absolute luxury.
I especially enjoyed our stop in Juneau, where I had great beer and halibut chowder at a restaurant called The Hangar. The city library was right alongside our ship, so we stopped in there when a light rain began to fall. I love libraries and visit them whenever we travel. The Juneau library had one of my western novels on the shelf, even though that book has been out of print a long time now. I've been an author for many years but still get a thrill out of seeing my books on other people's shelves. It never gets old.
|Posted by Steve Linder on 15 June, 2017 at 12:00||comments (1)|
One of the great things about being semi-retired is that I'm able to turn on C-Span in the middle of the day and watch live broadcasts of the historic hearings in Congress. Watching James Comey and Jeff Sessions and Sally Yates testify is a fascinating lesson in democracy and in the critical role the news media has to keep the public accurately informed. Thank God we live in a nation where the government does not control the media and cannot operate in complete secrecy.
I greatly appreciate the opportunity to hear these people present themselves.. These hearings are moments of high drama and hugely entertaining. More importantly, they reveal the humanity and character of the people who serve us in conducting the nation's business.
I give thanks for C-Span for allowing me to witness these events for myself and to form my own impressions before I tune in to the high-volume debates that so often take the place of news coverage. Today, we have an opportunity to witness history in the making for ourselves, in a way that no generation before us has ever enjoyed. Most people are too busy to watch these hearings, and that's understandable. I'm not campaigning for people to drop everything and tune in to Washington events. I'm just glad that my own situation permits me to see as much as I do.
|Posted by Steve Linder on 10 June, 2017 at 16:25||comments (1)|
My wife and I drove 40 miles to a little bookstore where I always find some eclectic title I never see anywhere else. I scored another book today and then we stopped in a small town for pizza and a pticher of beer. This, to my mind, is exactly what "the good life" looks like. I feel like we celebrated Father's Day a week early, and that's fine by me. Nothing like a little practice to get things right.
|Posted by Steve Linder on 31 May, 2017 at 14:00||comments (0)|
I've done away with most of the autobiographical information on the this website for now. Blabbing about myself on the home page just feels wrong somehow. I hope to begin blogging on a regular basis, for all the same reasons that anyone takes up the blog challenge. I have things to say and am curious to see if anyone finds them interesting.
I will try to avoid the temptation to bash any of the many loud voices in the political world these days. There are a zillion other places to find those kind of arguments, if that's what you desire. Anyway, I will be surprised if anyone at all wanders to my quiet little corner of the Internet. Please let me know if you do stumble into this playground. It would be very nice to hear from you.
|Posted by Steve Linder on 29 March, 2015 at 11:05||comments (5)|
Learning to publish ebooks on my own has been a fascinating experience in all sorts of ways. I had to struggle at first with the technical challenges of formatting the books. But after five ebooks now, I’m beginning to feel comfortable with that part of the process. The most difficult technical challenge, for me, was creating a professional looking cover. After my first ebook, I solved that problem by hiring the help of real professionals. Ebooklaunch.com created the artwork for the Kindle versions of Hunter’s Stand, Wager, Measure of Justice, and TKD. I gladly recommend their services to anyone looking for an affordable and accommodating cover designer. Check out their work for yourself, and see what you think.
I’ve also enjoyed a part of my ebook publishing experience that might sound like pure tedium. Walker & Company were kind to return my rights to the three westerns I published in the 80s and 90s, and I have been bringing those stories back to life as ebooks. The catch is that those books were originally composed before the computer revolution—on a typewriter. There are no electronic copies of the manuscripts—not even old-fashioned floppies—nothing to go by but the books themselves. That means I have to recreate each of those three books by retyping them.
So I have dutifully been retyping five pages a day of books that I wrote thirty years ago. Surprisingly, this task has become one of my favorite parts of each workday. Typing these pages into a computer gives me the opportunity to experience, all over again, stories and characters that I frankly had nearly forgotten. That means I get to read my own writing with thirty years of objective distance.
“Don’t you find yourself wanting to write it differently now?” I’ve been asked by nearly everyone who’s heard about this process. Of course I do. I am a better writer now than I was as a callow youth, and twenty years of teaching English have definitely made me smarter about grammar and punctuation. But, except for small grammatical fixes, I’ve resisted the temptation to do complete rewrites. I’ve come to accept that the books aren’t perfect. I’m pleased that they’re not bad. Yes, if I were to write those stories now, I would create very different books.
But the goal is not to rewrite them; it is to simply make them available again. And I’m happy that ebook publishing changes their status from OUT OF PRINT to AVAILABLE FOREVER. That’s the wonderful thing about electronic publishing. The electronic bookshelves at Amazon should never be bare. Now that I have all these books reformatted in ebook form, they will never be out of print again. For any writer, that’s an incredibly pleasing notion.
All of the westerns I wrote for Walker are now available as ebooks. Look for them if you enjoy westerns. I don’t expect to make any serious coin from these older titles. I simply want them to find their place in the world with anyone who’s interested. We bibliophiles need to stick together. Whatever type of book pleases you, happy reading.