Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Revisiting Duane Simolke

I completed an interview with Duane back in January 2023 (link here) and loved his book, The Acorn Stories. I was keen to catch up and find out what had happened since our chat:

'Several years back, I released Sons of Taldra: A Science Fiction Adventure. It took quite a while to write and turned out much shorter than I expected. However, I love the resulting book; it contains lots of action, humor, and romance. Mostly, though, I love the chemistry between its characters.

For a while, I thought I would switch back from novels to short stories, since I was having so much more trouble finding time to write. I focused on creating new stories set in Texas, even though I had ideas brewing for another scifi novel.

The stories, unfortunately, just didn’t turn out as well as the ones I wrote for The Acorn Stories and The Acorn Gathering. Some I just never finished, finally realizing my heart just wasn’t in them.

Other worlds called out to me. An Iroquois family led the cast in Sons of Taldra. They often became involved in danger and heroics. Taldra even led the human home world in the alternate reality I had created for that book and one of my previous novels, Degranon. Both books told self-contained stories that avoided cliff-hanger endings, but I later considered other possibilities for the characters.

Of the family members, Argen was the most fragile and vulnerable, the most misunderstood. Since I already had ideas for a spinoff, I kept wondering what would happen if I put Argen in it, separating him from his loved ones and leaving him alone to save the day.

The novel I’m now writing uses the working title Argen: A Science Fiction Adventure. It might take me a long time to write, but I love coming back to a tale with classic science fiction elements like time and space travel and alternate history. It’s all here, slowly unravelling on the pages I write or the thoughts in the back of my head. My love for storytelling keeps the possibilities going, and I’ll eventually share the finished novel with my readers.

(Artwork by Anadelaossa, based on Argen, a character from #Degranon and #SonsOfTaldra.)

My books continue to find new readers and garner positive reviews. I appreciate all the love they’ve received over the years, and I’m happy to be part of the reading and writing communities. Readers can learn more about at books at

Please visit my Book Blogger and Podcasts list at Twitter/X. ( It includes some great resources for readers and writers. I want to recognize just a few of the book blogs readers can find there, but also say “Thanks” to all of them for helping me or other writers.

Leonard Tillerman writes about blogging, indie writers, and more. He reviewed The Acorn Stories a while back, and many readers keep reposting links to that in-depth review. (

I discussed my experiences as an indie writer at the book blog The Redhead Notes, which also includes a review of The Acorn Stories. ( Read more about that blog and the blogger’s plans at

And congratulations to you on two years of this book blog! I was honored to have my interview and book review featured here and that the post garnered a Top Authors Award during the first year of Tweetables. The recognition helped and brought more attention to my writing.

Book bloggers, podcasters, booktubers, and the like help readers discover new worlds of the written word. Thanks again for Tweetables and for including me in it. I hope your book blogging will continue for many years, sparking more discussions of writers and their books.'

Aww, what a sweetie! If you'd like to follow Duane or learn even more about him, please click on his links below: