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Guest Blog: Steven Persen and Fleeing Owen Sound--Free Copy of Book Once They're Printed! Winner: Henryandlana!

Updated: Jun 9

Dear Readers, this has been an interesting week. Steven wrote me early in the week, asking to postpone, and I said of course. Then, the Lord gave me several ideas for blog posts, but with everything going on in life, I didn't find the time to actually write those posts. Then, today, Steven wrote me and said, hey, if it's not too late...


As Einstein used to say, "Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous."


Introduce yourself—name, where you’re from, and something people notice when they meet you. 

Hi everyone, my name is Steven Persen. I was born in Minnesota but have spent most of my adult life in Ohio. Something that people usually notice about me early on is that I have a quick wit, and it usually gets me into trouble.

 

Tell us about your book—title and back cover blurb.

I’m excited about my first book. It will be out this summer. It is called “Fleeing Owen Sound.” Nestled on the Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada, Owen Sound is a small port town situated above the expansive Great Lakes. In the 1880s, the Canadian Pacific Railway was established there, with the ambitious goal of completing Canada’s transcontinental railroad.

 

Winston, my main character, chooses to run away and begin a new life elsewhere, disconnected from his past whenever life becomes challenging. This is how he arrives at Owen Sound to start a job as a newspaper reporter.

 

Back Cover: Winston was a man who was unlikely to win a foot race, yet that didn’t stop him from becoming a world-class runner—from his problems.

In a frontier town full of tough men, he was a misfit, and he knew it. To make matters worse, some of those tough men were out to get him. He knew that, too. What he didn’t know was that running away this time wouldn’t be easy, as trouble and even death itself are chasing after him.

Espionage, international counterfeiting, murder, greed, pride, and misguided patriotism all collide with explosive results as Winston discovers the true meaning of courage and learns to fight back.



Here is a sneak peek: Even though I had only been on the job a few months, I decided to turn in my resignation and return home with my tail between my legs. With an aura of failure hanging over my head, I walked into the editor’s office to see my boss. Mr. Fontaine was seated behind his desk amidst a whirlwind of activity, getting the final copy ready for print.

“What’s up, kid?” he said as he looked up and saw the woeful expression on my face. “Looks like you spent the day picking splinters out of your britches.”

“I made a mistake by taking this job. It isn’t what I wanted or expected.”

“Is that all that’s got you down? Heck, that’s easy. Just change your expectations.”

“No, I’m serious.”

“So am I. You were born for this job. I knew it from the minute I first saw you. You need to stop running from your problems and face them head on. Quitting would be a colossal mistake and a waste of talent. Now let’s get down to the brass tacks and tell me what’s bothering you.”

I slumped down into the chair in front of his desk. “I don’t want to bring more gloom and misery into people’s lives. Instead, I hoped to write inspirational and uplifting stories that ease people’s burdens and lift their spirits.”

“Why do people buy newspapers, Mr. Hawes?”

“I guess because they want to know what is going on in the world around them.”

“That is exactly right. The news isn’t about fairy tales, and we don’t have the luxury of cherry-picking, which stories we get to write about and which ones we ignore. It is our job to keep the public abreast of everything of importance that happens. This means we write both the good and the bad; About the villains and their victims; The tragedies and the triumphs; And even the minor scuffles and the kerfuffle that occur when it is noteworthy.”

“Where’s the honor in that? I don’t want to be the town parrot. I want to make a difference.”

“Do you want to know what the greatest ending ever written was?”

“Um, they lived happily ever after?”

“No! That is that fairy tale logic again, and it’s a lie. Those types of stories tell us that if we can get past this one big hurdle, life will be easy and nothing will ever challenge us, or cause us pain and discomfort again…”

“Sounds good to me.”

 “I’ve got news for you. Life is messy and hard and is meant to be a challenge. Mark my words, no life lived in relative ease, absent of challenges and obstacles ever made a good man better; nor did it allow him to accomplish anything decent and worthwhile with his life.”

“So, what’s the answer, then?”

“They got what they deserved.”

“What? How is that the greatest ending ever written?”

“Hope and justice, my boy. That is what people want the most. They want people to get what they deserve, both good and bad. Justice for the wicked and hope for a better tomorrow. In my humble opinion, all the things we want in life can be categorized by either hope or justice.”

“That sounds too simplified to be true. Life is more complex than that. What about love and hate?”

“Love falls under hope. ‘I want to find true love’ is another way of hoping for something good to happen, specifically that you find a beautiful woman to share your life with. Likewise, someday that man is going to get his, is a way of expressing that justice needs to be applied, as he has done something unfair and wrong.”

“What about fear and happiness?”

“Think it through for yourself. It still fits. People want things to be fair, although life seldomly is. They want the sick to be well, the poor to get a job, the lonely to find a friend, the orphans to get adopted, the widows to get re-married, the wicked to be punished, and the evil to be eradicated from among them.”

“What about mercy?”

 “Your honor, my son was caught up with the wrong crowd. This isn’t a representation of who he is, or how he will behave in the future; I ask that you show my son leniency when you consider your judgement.” Mr. Fontaine added, “Sounds like a mixture of hope and justice to me.”

“And War?”

“You’re an American, so let’s look at two of America’s wars. The revolutionary war was about the government oppressing man and denying them justice or a say in their future. That’s why their new government was designed to be for the people, by the people and of the people. Their civil war was about ensuring hope for future generations who had been denied it, by demanding freedom and equality for all.”

“Okay. Let’s just say you are right. How does that apply to my dissatisfaction with my job?”

“Everything. You said you want to make a difference and not add to people’s misery. So, do it. When you write about what is happening, don’t just lazily report the facts like a parrot. A successful article will give the people what they are looking for the most. So, make sure you give them a sense of hope or that justice was served. Of course, that means sometimes you will have to get involved and go find the answer for yourself. It won’t always be obvious or easy to see.”

My mind stirred, thinking about what I had written versus how I had written my articles. Slowly, it clicked that this could work.

 

 Share one thing that you found difficult or challenging about writing this book?


Capturing the essence of an age before the conveniences of modern life proved to be a challenging task for me. I also had a challenge to write the dialogue for one of my characters which is described as “a Scottish or Irish man, I can never tell the difference which,” by using a mixture of Scottish brogue and English to make it understandable, but still unique. In order to maintain consistency, I had to create my own dictionary of words.

  

Ask the blog reader a quirky question or two?


Like characters in books, I think that in everyone’s life they have moments where they have to decide to step up and do something out of their comfort zone or shrink back from the opportunity to do so. I would be interested to hear about some of yours.

 

            For me, I remember the time I had a crush on a girl, but I couldn’t get up the nerve to ask her out. One day, my best friend surprised me by picking me up in his car at eight-thirty at night and parking in front of her house. As he turned off the ignition, he instructed me he would not move it until I went and asked her out. About a half an hour later, I finally got up the nerve. The rest is history; she said yes, and we just celebrated our thirty-fifth wedding anniversary in April.

 

If you were stuck somewhere away from home for a long weekend with only one novel, what would you choose to read?


My choice would be Frank Perretti’s “The Oath.” That was the first book to catch my attention, captivating me with its ability to bridge the gap between Christian literature and mainstream appeal, skillfully incorporating key Christian concepts into the lives of its characters.

 

Share your social media and buy links!



Thank you, Steven, for joining us--and love the cover!!

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10 Comments


henryandlana
henryandlana
Jun 03

It was wonderful to hear from a brand new author! I can sense his excitement and I pray that he makes a huge splash and big impression in the historical fiction scene! (My favorite genre, by the way!) It would be colossal to be the one who wins a copy of this exciting new novel by an amazing new author!! ✍️ 🙏♥️🤗

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ChristinaSinisi-Author
ChristinaSinisi-Author
Jun 09
Replying to

You're our winner--please email me at ChristinaSinisi@gmail.com and I'll let the author know. Blessings!

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Debra Pruss
Debra Pruss
Jun 02

Thank you so much for sharing. Your book sounds fabulous. I have had many opportunities in life where I have had to make tough choices. The one that I would like to share is when I became disabled. I had a choice whether to become bitter or show my love and light for the Lord. I chose to show my love and light for the Lord. If I was stuck on for a weekend with one novel....I would have to say it is the current ARC that I am reading by Elizabeth Goddard, Hidden in the Night. God bless you.

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ChristinaSinisi-Author
ChristinaSinisi-Author
Jun 09
Replying to

Thank you for writing!

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Pearl Fredericksen
Pearl Fredericksen
Jun 02

Thought provoking excerpt.

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ChristinaSinisi-Author
ChristinaSinisi-Author
Jun 02
Replying to

Thank you for reading! Have a blessed day, Christina

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CRYSTAL
CRYSTAL
Jun 02

I've never heard of this author but was even more interested in him after reading excerpt of the book sand the book sounds like a real good read but would really like to read a print book

Thanks for introducing me to this new author well new to me anyhow

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CRYSTAL
CRYSTAL
Jun 02
Replying to

Thank You & You as well. 🤗🤗

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