Elephant freaks out tourists, and satisfies that itch

This story caught me off guard. If I ever go on an African safari then I want a tour bus! Check out the link.

Itch-scratching elephant terrifies occupants of car

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The Megalith Union is an Award Winner

I just wanted to share my good news.  My second book was named a finalist in the International Book Awards in the Fiction: Young Adult category.  The link will take you to my publisher’s press release so you can read about the other two books that were nominated from the Light Messages family.  

I was so thrilled with this honor when I heard about it on Twitter today.  I hope you have time to check out The Megalith Union which is available on line or you can ask your local book sellers (large or small) to order it for you.

Interview with Dave Edlund, Novelist

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I had a chance to speak with author Dave Edlund recently and found out some insightful and interesting things about the chemist-turned-author.  Read below to learn a little about Dave and his exciting new book, Crossing Savage.  You can learn more about Dave and other Light Message published authors at http://www.lightmessages.com/lm/ 

Q: Where do your ideas come from for your novels?

A: I have a very active imagination; always have. There are lots of story ideas rattling around in my head. For Crossing Savage, I wanted to weave the plot around the notion that a group of scientists were on the verge of an important discovery that could lead to energy self-sufficiency—but not everyone welcomes this goal. There is a certain amount of naiveté in the way research is conducted, and this is a key part of the story. Energy is important to every person and every country, and I still remember the oil embargoes of the ‘70s. The call for energy independence was loud and strong. But it occurred to me, given the geopolitical climate we live in, that not every government would look kindly on energy independence as it would mean declining oil exports. And when you cut into a governments revenue, you’re messing with unpredictable forces.

Q: Do you find it hard to start a new story?

A: No, not really. At some level of consciousness I am already working on the next novel even before finishing the current project. But, having said that, I’d be less than candid if I didn’t admit that it can be tough sometimes to start writing—whether it’s a new book or a new chapter. Sometimes those first few sentences are the most difficult to get down. So rather than getting hung up on it, I will just write what comes to me—knowing I’ll fix it later—or skip the opening paragraph entirely. The goal is to get writing. Once I get into a groove, the momentum keeps me going.

Q: What motivates you to create action/political thrillers as opposed to, say, mysteries or sci-fi or fantasy?

A: As a child, I enjoyed epic sagas, mostly Greek mythology and Jules Verne. And I still enjoy those, but primarily what I like to read are action/political thrillers. However, I want to control the plot and the action, and I’m a stickler for authenticity with a few exceptions that fall in the category of plausible concepts. I guess for this reason I’m not a big fan of sci-fi (Jules Verne being one of the few exceptions—but then again, a lot of what he wrote was not only plausible, but is now factual). For me, writing is an extremely satisfying creative endeavor. As an author, you alone create the characters, environment, actions that take place between the front and back covers. I like that.

Q: Given your formal education in science and engineering, and your profession as an entrepreneur, what compelled you to write fiction stories?

A: Creativity is manifested in many ways. For some, it is drawing, painting, sculpting. It may be building (structures, machines), or cooking, or dance. To my thinking, science and engineering are also ways to express creativity. I am constantly amused by Albert Einstein who is credited with saying, “If we knew what we were doing we wouldn’t call it research”. Writing is just another way for me to express my desire to create. I do incorporate cutting-edge science into each story, but my goal is to firmly ground the science in fact and where necessary, extrapolate to the near-term plausible.

Q: What do you find the most challenging part of writing?

A: Coloring the scene is, for me, one of the most challenging parts of writing. By this I mean that part of the chapter where there is dialogue, or description of the surrounding environment, to allow the reader to become immersed in the setting, but not provide so much detail as to wipe away any role for the reader’s imagination or slow the pace. This is a balancing act, and one that I am constantly struggling with.

Q: What books do you like to read and why?

A: Some of my favorites are Jurassic Park and Time Line (Michael Crichton); Deep Six, Raise the Titanic, and Night Probe (Clive Cussler); Amazonia, Map of Bones, Black Order, and Judas Strain (James Rollins); Flight of the Old Dog (Dale Brown); Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown); and the Blaine McCracken novels by Jon Land. For different reasons all of these books had me riveted to each page, never wanting to stop and put the book down. They have strong protagonists and exciting plots, with lots of cliff-hangers.

 

Thanks to Dave for the time and answers.  Be sure to check out his novel, Crossing Savage.

 

Tony Danza- Why teaching is the hardest job in America

Howdy, all. I wanted to share a video intro of Tony Danza’s book I Want to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had. Danza spent a year in a Philly high school and learned a great deal about the challenges that teachers face each and every day in our schools. I strongly encourage everyone to support your local teachers. Imagine a business where you are trying to sell to people that have no interest in buying and make it their personal mission that your message will have a very difficult time of getting through to others who may be receptive to it. Its a hard job and a thankless one most of the time, but there are moments (not pay day since its way lower than it should be) where a student comes back to you or lets you know that what you taught was important. It’s both the greatest job and the worst job all at the same time and being great at it is nearly impossible, but these driven souls suit up every day and do it. Here’s to teachers everywhere and I encourage everyone to read Danza’s book.