Posted in fiction, Guest Post, Spotlight on March 12, 2014

recluse storyteller


The twins, beckoned by an ominous streak of light across the sky, climb Harper’s Hill to encounter an apparition of their missing father.

The reverend stands on a muddy ridge, the barrel of a rifle in his neck, looking down on a Vietnamese village, scarred by war and regret.

The brash terrorist, Red Hat, desperately tries to walk away from life unscathed and unattached.

The stories haunt Margaret every waking moment, but they are anything but random. A fractured view Michael Cheevers’ red hat through a discreetly cracked door sends her off on adventure. A glimpse of the Johnson twins from apartment 2D transports her mind to the lonely hill on a Midwestern prairie in 1887. The regular letters from Reverend Davies bring her to the brink of exhaustion as she stares intensely into the heart of war, deep in the jungle of Vietnam.

Margaret is not insane, at least not in a clinical sense. She’s like a midnight raccoon, painfully aware of her surroundings, gleaning crumbs of information at every turn. Her eyes peer incessantly in the night, stealing glances of the neighbors through partially opened doors.

But the tales she weaves were not meant to merely hold empty court to the receptive dead air of her apartment. Her stories were meant to embolden the lives of the inhabitants of that drab apartment block because her story is also their story–and everything would be different if they could only hear the prophetic words of the rambling recluse.

The Recluse Storyteller weaves five stories into one as the loner, Margaret, not only searches for meaning from her reclusive life, but also gives meaning in the most unexpected ways to the troubled souls of her apartment complex. Part adventure, part tragedy, and part discovery, The Recluse Storyteller bridges genres, bringing hope, life, and redemption to the broken relationships of modern society.


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Guest Post

Why should you read my books?

You don’t know me. I’m new on the writing scene, but I appreciate this opportunity to introduce myself to you, a potential reader. Here’s what I strive to provide when you read my works:

Easy, fast-moving reads with strong, lasting themes.

Fun and unique characters, who are well-rounded, real, honest, and sometimes funny.

Real human life. Real human connection. My writing stresses the bonds we have with others. The relationships and struggles which make us all human.

My writing is grand in scope and exotic in setting.

My plots are complex. Stories often are intertwined and come together in unexpected ways.

Expect the unexpected. I don’t like the readers to be able to predict what will happen, but if you read closely, there are clues.

I will never bog you down with pages of useless description. I write in a concise manner, but you won’t confuse concise with shallow.

I write with themes. I write with purpose. I want my characters to say something about life and society.

I write honestly, from the heart.

I would be honored if you gave one of my novels a sample.

Thank you.

About the Author

mark sasseMark W Sasse was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania, but he has lived in Asia (Vietnam & Malaysia) for most of the past twenty years. He has been an independent author for just over a year, publishing his first novel, Beauty Rising, in December 2012. He is passionate about live theater and has written, directed, and produced nine full-length productions for the stage. His script, “‘No’ in Spite of Itself” won “Best Script” recently in Penang’s Short & Sweet Theatre Festival.  His third novel, The Reach of the Banyan Tree, is finished and is set to release mid-year 2014. He also co-wrote and is directing the original musical “Boardwalk Melody”, debuting at the Penang Performing Arts Center in May 2014.

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