Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sylvia Frances Author Interview

 Deciding to interview other authors is a big step for me. First of all, I have to stop ringing the Antediluvian Steampunk bell and beating the Dragoneers drum and focus on other outstanding works of literature. After considering how long it takes for me to finish new books, I decided it would be best for me to share this page with authors my readers might be interested in. My first author interview is with Sylvia Frances.

After facing much death in her life, Sylvia came face to face with Christ and was called to write the Immortal series. The blessings Jesus has given her overwhelms her with joy each day. She is happily married, has two furry children (a shih tzu and a cat), and recently graduated college with honors. One of her careers, besides working as an author, is a newspaper journalist for her local town.

American Christian Fiction Writers and The Paranormal Romance Guild are two large writing organizations of which Sylvia is a proud member. Sylvia's two debut Christian novels Immortal Memory Books One and Two were released on Amazon on December 9, 2014. She's dedicated part of her website to reveal others’ testimonies who have also faced death and found life in Christ.

C. D. Sutherland: So nice to have you visit the Antediluvian Steampunk Operations Center (ASOC). Please, have a seat on my dragon-skin couch, uh, it's just mock dragon-skin, of course.

Sylvia Frances: It certainly looks the way I'd imagine dragon-skin to appear. I’m honored to be interviewed for your website, Charles. May I call you Charles?

C. D. Sutherland: Certainly. After all, it is my name as it is my father's, and before him, his father's.

Sylvia Frances: Oh, quite the family tradition. Your books are very intriguing, and I look forward to reading the next one. I take great interest in reading and learning what I can about the supernatural, such as angels and fallen angels. Most importantly, there can never be enough read or learned about Christ Himself. He is the Ultimate Immortal in my books and in my life.

C. D. Sutherland: Amen to that, but let's get to our interview about you and your books. I have a few questions.

Sylvia Frances: Fire when ready.

C. D. Sutherland: In your own words, what is the Immortal Memory series about?

Sylvia Frances: Immortal Memory (Book One) is about how Simra Reece, owner of Reece Alzheimer's Care Facility, is determined to prolong her grandmother's life at the home and find a cure for the horrendous illness.  Nothing will stop her from taking care of her precious grandmother, who is the only family she has left.  But Simra's world comes crashing down when her ex-fiancĂ©, Tristan, returns with a deadly obsession on forcing her into marriage. Tristan is a danger to Simra and her grandmother, but he isn't just any normal man. He is dark and powerful.   The only chance Simra has of survival is placing her trust in his tall and handsome twin brother, Zach Hanley, who seems to have a hidden, dark past with her grandmother. Together, she and Zach must release their guilt of the past, learn to forgive, and place all their trust in Christ for their protection against the evil forces surrounding them.

Immortal Memory, A Cursed Affair (Book Two) is the prequel to Immortal Memory, which is Simra's grandmother's story.  Twenty-year-old Lucinda Glenn travels to Texas from Louisiana for one mission only.  She wants to find her missing father who has been gone for far too long.  Everything is mysteriously falling apart back home, and the family needs him.  When she runs into Detective Zachriel Hanley and Melton Reece, foreign feelings awaken in her that she's never felt.  They offer to help her, but something is strange about Zachriel.  When Zachriel's more than charming twin brother offers more help than what Zachriel offers to find her father, she is swept off her feet by the charming and wealthy man. But looks can be deceiving. As she feels her and her family's lives threatened by Zachriel's twin, Lucinda realizes that Melton and Zachriel are the only ones she can trust.  When Melton tells her Zachriel's twin is responsible for much evil committed against her and Melton and how he plans to force her into marriage, she becomes aware that she and Melton must learn to understand that God allows certain situations to happen for a reason.  But they must trust Him. Love and patience is the only way to break evil's curse.

C. D. Sutherland: What inspired you to write these two books?

Sylvia Frances:  My great-grandmother had Alzheimer's when she was alive, and I saw how deadly and tragic this illness can be.  But a terrible curse can always lead to a blessing later on.

I've also witnessed that there can be toxic, obsessive, and abusive relationships that can change the victim being abused.  During the relationship the victim feels like they are in an inescapable prison with no faith in God.  All they have is fear and sadness.  But God ALWAYS has the miraculous power to give the victim an escape, to destroy their fear, and find glorious faith.

C. D. Sutherland: What drives you to keep writing?

Sylvia Frances: God. He's the one who gives me all the ideas and gives me the determination to write each day. My husband also is a huge inspiration and support.

C. D. Sutherland: What are you currently working on at this moment?

Sylvia Frances: I'm currently working on Immortal Memory:  Her Darkest Hour (Book Three), which will be a surprise.  It starts close to where Book One left off.  In Book Three, we find out if Azazel returns to claim what's rightfully his.  Simra.  Or is it just Simra facing several traumatic experiences?  Book Three will release in April 2015.

C. D. Sutherland: Where can readers connect with you and keep up with your latest releases?

Sylvia Frances: Readers can go to my website:, like my facebook page entitled Sylvia Frances, and find me on Twitter Sylvia Frances@SylviaFrances1.

C. D. Sutherland: This has been great. I'm so glad you could visit with me.

Sylvia Frances: It has been my pleasure. I couldn't help but to notice all the interesting objects in here. That glossy black thing looks like the Cainite blasters described in your novels.

C. D. Sutherland: Oh, that. It is just a mock up. Not functional at all.

Sylvia Frances: But this thing on the coffee table, it looks like a Yomadayom. Could it be?

C. D. Sutherland: Oh, that's just a mock up--don't turn those dials, don't touch that!

Sylvia Frances: If it's just a mock up, what harm could it do?

C. D. Sutherland: [nervous laughter as he moves the object out of reach] No harm, no harm at all. Whew, it is getting late, so it's time for you to go. Best wishes for success on these two fantastic sounding novels. You're doing great things for all the right reasons.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

What is Antediluvian Steampunk?

I'm glad you asked.

Antediluvian SteamPunk is an emerging Retro-Futurfantastic genre that synthesizes Literary/Biblical Fiction with traditional Science Fiction/Steampunk. It is void of profanity and doesn’t have gratuitous sensuality, but it does have emotional tension and physical conflict. It incorporates Biblical history to support the fantasy elements, which dominate the adventure, without being preachy. Someone expecting a Sunday school story will be disappointed, but those who enjoy high adventure will be rewarded.

Three novels of the The Chronicles of Susah series: The Dragoneers, The Lost Dragoneer, and The Last Dragoneer. At 110,000+ words, the shortest of the three novels is the first book. The eBook of The Dragoneers is available for 99 cents at Amazon, but can be downloaded for free at B&N, iBooks, and Smashwords. As with many other books, the first few chapters can be read at Amazon before make the 99-cent investment.

Susah, the 17-year-old protagonist struggles with her desire for high adventure against the call to follow her brothers’ example to help her father built the ark. Yes, that ark, but this is no typical flood story. 

Antediluvian steampunk is something different. If the first book doesn’t capture the reader’s imagination and leave them wanting more, then the rest of the series probably won’t be for them either. With increasing velocity, the subsequent adventures build on the same theme, until the expected comes in an unexpected way at the end of the third novel; however, this reading adventure is not so much about the destination as it is about the journey through a complex labyrinth of metaphors, strange technologies, and cultural challenges woven together with spiritual interpolations and uncommon imagination so different, that it might create a thirst for more answers to questions yet unasked.

Lauded by readers of all ages, the thematic challenges faced by the protagonist make it especially suited for young adults.

The Dragoneers at Amazon

The Lost Dragoneer at Amazon

The Last Dragoneer at Amazon

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Culture Change, i.e. Furgeson

Photo credit: Kerry Perry from

A community organizer training the mustering Ferguson rioters says, "...we’re not going to get change in this society unless white people are just a little bit afraid..." 
Change society? 
Fundamentally change America? 
Familiar words, and any reasonable person should be willing to change the things that are wrong; however, we've seen a lot of change in the last 6 years that most reasonable people would never have hoped for. 
No reasonable American would have for hoped the national debt to double with no end in sight;
No reasonable American would have for hoped for a 30 year low in employment;
No reasonable American would have for hoped for the dollar to have lost its place in international commerce;
No reasonable American would have hoped for our enemies to become so bold and rampant as to publish videos of them killing our citizens;
No reasonable American would have hoped for Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and throngs of Americans losing their jobs because of an "affordable care act" that was marketed on a series of lies;
No reasonable American would have hoped for us to alienate our most important and longest standing Arab allies, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, nor to reignite the old Cold War with Russia;
No reasonable American would have hoped that community organizers would boldly declare their goal is to make white people afraid and then to have nobody resist the effort.
I don't know about everybody else, but I'm a little tired of these types of changes.
And another thing, since I'm on a rant.
Fear is a hell of thing.
The early settlers of this land were afraid of wolves, bears, and a few other things. We don't have to worry about those things today, because previous generations removed those threats. The only place most of us have seen bears and wolves are in zoos or via some visual media. There are still some left wandering around, but most of them know to leave people alone. However, we still have some things to fear. 
Like you, I'm a little afraid of the flu virus. I wash my hands often, use spray disinfectant, and hand sanitizer when washing isn't possible. All those things take a little of my time, but I surrender it willingly in the hope that I won't come down with the flu, which could kill me.
Like you, I'm a little afraid of black widow and brown recluse spiders. They've been known to kill, but usually they just hurt you. I don't like being hurt. Besides keeping an eye out for them, I often apply insecticides on and around my property. Additionally, I regularly employ interior-appropriate insecticides in my home. Those poisons work well on other undesirable pests, but I know I have to remain persistent, and persistence is a price I'm willing to pay.
There are other things we're a little afraid of. If we're thinking people, we've taken mitigation measures for all of those things; at least, I know I have. Yes, it takes some resources and time, but we should willingly surrender those in hopes of avoiding the loss we might suffer if we don't. 
Don't make us afraid of you. 
No reasonable American should ever again passively nod in agreement when somebody says we need to change society, until they explain the details. 
We're not that stupid anymore, are we?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Columbus Day

I was going to wish you a happy Columbus Day, but I have to put on my historian hat and say something else first.

Europeans enjoyed relatively safe land passage over the “silk road” to India and China for centuries until the Muslims conquered Constantinople. Most everything traveling the silk road after that was confiscated by the raiders who lived there. Eventually, the seafaring Portuguese developed a sea passage route around Africa. The Italian explorer, Columbus envisioned another way, but it required bravery and boldness.

By 1492, Columbus had lined up investors to finance about half of his great adventure. During the two years prior, he had lobbied the Spanish court. Having just evicted the Muslims from the Iberian Peninsula, Queen Isabella rejected Columbus, and he headed to France. Had King Ferdinand not intervened, France might have become his sponsor and the resulting world which would have emerged provides for interesting discussion and muse material, which goes beyond the scope of this article. 

Because you should already know about Columbus’s four voyages, I won’t discuss them here; instead, I will discuss a few things about the holiday’s history.

Columbus Day began as a celebration of Italian-American heritage in San Francisco in 1869. In 1905, Jesse F. McDonald, the Colorado governor proclaimed it a state holiday. In 1937, Columbus Day was elevated by Congress and President F.D. Roosevelt to become a Federal holiday. 

When I was a child, the celebration of Italian-American heritage had spilled over into a general celebration of ethnic-European influence on the American journey, but we didn’t call it that. It was presented as a part of the foundational history of America. Our history classes taught how he had ventured only onto some islands in the Caribbean, never putting a foot on the mainland of America; nevertheless, we simplified the lessons by saying, “Columbus discovered America.” To aid us on our history tests, we memorized the first line of an old poem, “In fourteen hundred ninety-two; Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”

Today, not everybody is enthusiastic about Columbus Day. Quite the opposite, a lot of folks actually hate the idea of celebrating the bravery and boldness of Columbus. If you Google the hate, you’ll find he’s blamed for just about every crime against humanity you can imagine and some you can’t. 

This year, you might have heard that the city counsels of Seattle and Minneapolis have declared the second Monday in October as “Indigenous People’s Day” in opposition to the long-established Federal Holiday. 

Locally elected government can do anything they want as long as they don’t violate Federal or State law. So all I have to say about that is, good luck to them.

But for now, let’s think about this for a moment. Considering the myriad diversity celebrations happening all over this land, thinking people might ask themselves, “Why do some people hate Columbus Day?”

Is it because Columbus Day began as an ethnic-Italian heritage celebration? 
Is it because Columbus Day evolved into an ethnic-European heritage celebration? 
Is it because Columbus Day became a foundational American celebration? 

Few will confess to such a hate. Because, at least for now, saying they hate Italians, or Europeans, or American is mostly unacceptable, the dissenters frame their arguments based on their view of the negative aspects of Columbus. The facts the dissenters present mostly lack reliable primary sources, but I suppose that matters only to historians and thinking people. If you’ve been following this, have you noticed how the stories of atrocities get worse every year? It is as if the dissenters are being visited by imps and fairies with new revelations because they are not held to the standards demanded from professional historians. Interestingly, the unsupported stories are accepted by many people without challenge. Is it hate or something else?

I don’t know their hearts, but in the interest of consistency, thinking people should consider the typical response to any argument focused on the negative aspects of any other group celebrating their diversity. 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen it before. Regardless of the data supporting the argument, the offended release their hate like rabid hounds on a bunny rabbit. Eventually, the one who had offered the argument is personally attacked, sometimes physically, until the dissenter simply fades away. When civility is abandoned, the dissenter remains an object of ridicule and harassment while the “defenders of diversity” are lauded for their bravery and boldness. Anyone who considers suggesting the dissenter had a valid argument knows they will be dished out an equal measure of hate, too. 

Finally, thinking people need to ask themselves, “Why shouldn’t ethnic Italians and ethnic Europeans, or for that matter, Americans in general respond likewise to arguments against the observation of Columbus Day?” 

Where has all the bravery gone? 
Where has all the boldness gone?
Gone to flowers everyone?

With that said, I now wish you all a wonderful Columbus Day.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sylvia Frances Interviews C. D. Sutherland

One of the fun things about have a few published novels is occasionally answering a few question during an interview. I was my honor to have Christian romance author and blogger Sylvia Frances interview me. Her technique was a little different. She read and then reviewed all of my novels before the interview.

If you'd like to learn a little more about me, check out the interview here.

If you provide a comment in the next day or so, you'll be eligible for a special surprise, according to Sylvia Frances on her blog.

C. D. Sutherland

If you're interested in reading my books on your eReader, you can find them here:
Kobo (The Dragoneers)
The Dragoneers, The Lost Dragoneer, and The Last Dragoneer are available in iBooks also.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Dragoneers Revised Second Edition

Someone once said, “The only thing better than a good book is a free good book.”

Starting today, The Dragoneers eBook versions are joining the throng of free good books in the universe. Currently, it's free at Smashwords in many formats. Soon, Amazon will price match and everybody will be able to get it free there, too. For now, we've priced it at 99 cents, the lowest price Amazon will accept until it price-matches.

This price change follows a major revision of the novel. As great as Susah’s first adventure is, my debut novel suffered from myriad mechanical presentation errors. Many of my readers told me they hadn’t noticed the errors, but as my writing superpowers grew stronger, the errors became increasingly obvious to me.

My earnest desire is for all of my books to join the ranks of good literature. I knew that if Susah’s first great adventure book were to survive the test of time, then I had to fix the presentation. Literature professors aren’t going to select books with improper grammar and misspellings for their students, no matter how interesting the story.

So here’s what I did.

After hunting down and isolating myriad grammar violations isolated, I mercilessly forced them to comply with standard and accepted practices. Two maps of the antediluvian world were added to help everyone’s situational awareness, and as requested I have included four reference lists: characters; kinds of people/races; places; and terms of measurements. To help with the books pacing, I morphed thirty-three chapters into thirty-nine. 

Since two sequels have been published since the first edition was released in 2011, both of those books are mentioned favorably in the back matter. For people who are new to the series, I have included the first chapter of The Lost Dragoneer to whet their appetites. Don't you know, passing up an opportunity to advertise for free in a free book would be unwise?

I also revised the printed version to keep them congruent. Originally published in single spaced font on bright white page, the book weighed in at 242 pages. The second edition has a wider, reader-friendly font spacing on cream-colored paper that pushes the page count to 384, which is about right for a 110,000 word book. Experts say this format is suppose to be less stressful on the eyes. 

Of course, the printed book is not free. That would become quite expensive over time. The great news is that it is available at Amazon and other bookstores.

Because so many changes were made, a new ISBN was required for the printed version. If you’re interested, here’s the current number: 978-1-937366-11-7.

If you come upon a printed copy of The Dragoneers and wonder if it is the new edition or not, you don’t have to look inside to know. As you can see below, the cover has changed slightly to allow you to quickly discern.

Here's the old version:

 Here's the new version:

 Now, all three books in the series have a consistent cover, and that just makes sense.

Available anywhere good books are sold.