I have published three books and three short story ebooks. My first is a novel based on a Greek myth. The second is about creative recovery with a focus on writing a novel. The third is a collection of short stories. Below are more detailed descriptions of each book.
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Thief of Hades
This is the novel that taught me how to write a novel. The Amazon description of this book is:
A 3,000 year anniversary sets off chaos in the underworld when Charon, mythological ferryman, undertakes a mission to liberate his young daughter from damnation.
Although my novel has a 4 star rating on Amazon, marketing a book about an aging ferryman from a Greek myth was no easy task. It has always been hard to say what attracted me to the idea so much I wanted to write a novel about it.
Although I had some knowledge about Greek mythology, my spark of inspiration came to me when I was playing Castlevania 2. In one segment a skeleton rowed Simon across a lake for a coin.
The setting was misty and dark. The music was playing. And I wanted to know more about the skeleton, which I knew was based on Charon, the ferryman of the river Styx.
I wanted to know what Charon did with so many coins, since he apparently never left his boat to spend them. Did he just like shiny things? Was he a miser? Did he care about anyone?
In the world of my imagination, he soon had a young rebellious daughter, a strained relationship with the god Hades, a purpose for his coins, and a habit of trading insults with Cerberus, the three-headed guard dog.
I imagined the scenes set up in comic book frames, like a graphic novel, and wished I could draw what was in my head.
Although I suspected weird fringe characters from Greek myths were not a marketing goldmine, I wanted them to be humanly motivated. I was convinced the best stories were driven by memorable characters with powerful emotions.
For many months, Hades became my playground and I developed my characters: a determined, miserly boatman, a controlling witch, a stubborn god, a condescending dog, a volatile wife. I was happy with the finished product.
Though the book did not sell many copies, it changed my life. I had a successful book signing in my home town. Readers responded strongly to my characters, and someone from Australia wrote a thoughtful 4 star review, which I treasure.
Most of all, I had written a novel and knew I could do it again. The novel remains on my bookshelf. Inside its covers, my characters still play, speak, and roam.
Every time I see the cover, I am reminded that words can make this possible.
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A Trail of Crumbs to Creative Freedom
Writing a novel is hard, but certain beliefs about creativity make it harder. The need for rigid discipline or a magical mental state are a couple. My book advocates a more playful approach based on freedom. When writing is about having fun, when you want to write, there is no need to force it. Once you stop fighting yourself, you can fully focus.
Writing a second novel during a severe bipolar depression led me to this insight. I was more painfully blocked than I had ever been. I hated writing, but I also missed it. I wistfully envisioned a “trail” leading back to when writing had been fun.
Lacking that, I did what I could, which was to write, good or bad, whether I felt like it or not. During the long painful struggle that followed, I learned what inspired me and unlearned mental habits that impeded writing.
My book is about summoning creativity, ending self-abuse, and replacing guilt with freedom based on a love for writing.
My title is my dream of going back to being creative again, based on my longing for direction – a trail. Since I had lacked this when I was blocked, I made notes about my novel writing process so that if I ever found myself creatively lost again, I would have a way back.
This book is my trail.
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Becoming the Story
A collection of short stories by L. E. Henderson ranging from personal prose to fantasy and science fiction.
Fictionally addresses questions such as:
- What if you could write your way into a new life?
- What if the only way to cure mental illness was math?
- How would a cat who had just become human react when she runs into a Christian determined to save her soul?
- How would the human race react if they made first contact with extraterrestrials only to find that the aliens have no interest in humans at all?
- What would an immortal race of human descendants think about being human if some parents mysteriously gave birth to a mortal human baby – an atavist?
Transcending time, space, and death, “Becoming the Story” explores how life produces “real world” stories that can disappoint and define us until we begin to answer them with our own – and how the power of imagination brings the impossible down to earth.