Let’s Chat! Author David Todd

Welcome, Everyone! And Welcome, Author David A. Todd! 

We welcome David Todd to our chat circle this week. David tells an interesting life story. I’m honored to present the latest on David Todd, a prolific author of a wide array of works.

David is offering one of his books in print or ebook format to someone who comments at the end of the interview! Winner may choose from Doctor Luke’s Assistant, Preserve The Revelation, The Gutter Chronicles, The Candy Store GenerationDocumenting America, Documenting America: Civil War Edition Daddy-Daughter Day, and In Front of Fifty Thousand Screaming People

Congratulations to Evangeline Gober, winner of David’s In Front of Fifty Thousand Screaming People!

David Todd: Roots

Born and raised in Rhode Island, I attended public schools, including University of Rhode Island, where I earned a bachelor degree in civil engineering.

My Christian upbringing was in the liturgical church (I was a good altar boy), having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof. Learning true Christianity through a girlfriend, a Billy Graham crusade, and the witness of some Navigators, I prayed for salvation alone in my room on Easter Sunday, 1974. Since then my walk with God has been unbroken—though imperfect.

My mother died from an awful, debilitating illness when I was 13, a formative life event. Dad worked nights, and we three kids were latch-key teens. I played high school football and ran track, so he had left for work when I got home at 6:00 p.m. and was asleep when I left for school at 7:30 a.m. And so it went, day after day. I wouldn”t see him from Monday morning till Saturday noon when he got up.  We could have gone bad, but we grew up to be responsible citizens. (Click to Tweet!) Looking back, even though we didn’t know God, I believe his hand of protection and guidance was upon us—and on the parents who raised us.


David Todd: Adult Life
David Todd
Real men rock babies.

Upon graduation from URI, I moved to Kansas City to work. My wife and I married, and we welcomed our two children in Kansas. I earned my masters in civil engineering from the University of Missouri.

Then we relocated to Saudi Arabia, to North Carolina, then to Kuwait, where we lived until Sadaam Hussein kicked us out. Our bunch landed in NW Arkansas to be near family in 1991 and now call the area home.

My work as a civil engineer necessitated all those moves. I wouldn’t have missed all the adventure for anything (even smuggling Bibles into China, the basis for my novel, Operation Lotus Sunday) but I’ve had enough. It’s the good ole USA for me from now on.

The Writer, David A. Todd

Forty-three years later, with many engineering projects, engineering and construction articles, and conference presentations under my belt, I anticipate devoting more time to writing in just one year, five months, and a few days.

David Todd’s Debut Experience

The writing bug bit me in 1998 and was diagnosed incurable in 2000. (Click to Tweet!) I have been at it with considerable seriousness and regularity ever since.

My first novel, Doctor Luke’s Assistant, a fictional account of the writing of Luke’s gospel told from the point of view of a Jewish assistant, debuted in 2012. Laboring over it more than two years, I learned publishing was virtually impossible. After attending writers conferences and learning the ropes, I shelved the first novel and kept on writing. I knocked on several doors for the first and subsequent books, but they seemed closed shut tight. No one answered from the other side.

Finally, in 2011, I self-published via Amazon and Smashwords. To test the waters I put up a short story about my mom’s death. Wanting to publish a full-length work, I pulled together some of my newspaper op-eds, expanded them, and published it as Documenting America: Lessons From the United States’ Historical Documents, a non-fiction, historical-political work I intend to expand into a series.

I finally published Doctor Luke’s Assistant in early 2012. Preserve The Revelation, the sequel to Doctor Luke’s Assistant, debuted this year. This novel tells the story of Luke’s assistant who helped Apostle John write his Gospel of John and the Revelation. He and his sons encounter many adventures in their travels.


What’s up with David Todd Now?

I now have twenty-four items for sale at Amazon, and most of them at Smashwords. They are: five novels, one novella, five non-fiction books, eleven short stories, one professional essay, and one book of poetry.

That book of poetry, Daddy-Daughter Day, is really a novella in verse. It’s the story of a Saturday a dad promised to spend with his daughter. She wakes him at the crack of dawn, but he sends her away. Later he thinks better of it and follows through with his promise. Their special day blesses him more than his daughter. A paperback told in 30-odd poems of different styles, most of them formal verse, it hasn’t sold well, but I hope someday it will catch on.

Most of my books are for the general market, not the Christian market. I underpin each of them with a Christian worldview, however. My two baseball novels, In Front of Fifty Thousand Screaming People, and its sequel Headshots, follow this pattern.

David ToddIn Front of Fifty Thousand Screaming People tells the story of a Christian young man who breaks into the Major Leagues, only to see his life manipulated by Mafia Dons who bet on games. The first book emphasizes the Cubs winning the pennant and World Series. It deals with the Mafia, professional baseball, and the sometimes-seedy side of life without resorting to swearing, explicit sex scenes, etc.

At present, my writing project is the next book in the Documenting America series, due out in August.

Future Plans 

After that, I plan to write the next in my eleven-book church history novel series, a prequel to Doctor Luke’s Assistant

I plan a series of cozy mysteries based on a man who researches his genealogy and finds skeletons in his closet. And, there are more short stories in my series about an unconventional CIA female agent. I put her in the many places my travels took me around the world.

How We Can Find David Todd and His Books

David’s Dungeon


My website is davidatodd.com. I blog on Mondays and Fridays about my writing life, plans, and achievements, with a few other topics along the way, including author interviews.

Facebook author page

Amazon author page

Smashwords author page  

I also have author pages at the sellers Smashwords distributes to, which includes Apple, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.

~ ~ ~

Lord, You are the Author of Truth. How refreshing to learn of Your work through David Todd’s unspeakable loss as a teen and in lands opposed to Jesus. Bless him in the final months of his career and bring him success as a writer beyond his dreams. Show Yourself through David’s words.
~ For Jesus’ sake

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18 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author David Todd

  1. Katie Buser

    Dave, I repeat the prayer–perfect for you! You are a remarkable man in so many ways. Thanks for all you do for the family, and best of luck with your writing! Keep Joy in the journey!

     
     
    1. Hi Katie: Thanks for coming by and commenting.

       
       
  2. Evangeline

    David is a new author to me, and I would love to win one of his books. WOW! What an eventful life he has had. I wish him the best in the remaining time in his writing career. Blessings on you, David!

     
     
    1. Thanks for commenting, Evangeline. Just back from a long weekend trip and saw your comment.

       
       
    2. Great to see you in our chat circle, Evangeline! Please come again.

       
       
  3. Marilyn R

    David Todd is a new author to me, but wow amazing travel to get where he is today. Thank you for the nice interview and sharing all of Todd’s books. The best to him in the coming years of writing and publishing.

     
     
    1. Thanks, Marilyn. Yes, it has been an interesting, circuitous route to this point. I think, if I ever write an autobiography, I’m going to title it “The Journey Was A Joy”.

       
       
    2. Thanks for joining the chat, Marilyn!

       
       
  4. Gary

    You can’t find a more authentic and reliable guy than Dave, a good friend since our high school days. He’s a pretty good writer too.

     
     
    1. Thanks so much for joining in, Gary. Come visit with us again!

       
       
    2. Gary: Thanks for stopping by and commenting, even though it’s not RIID or NBIPD (we’ll let others wonder about those). Off to The Dungeon now.

       
       
  5. Excellent interview! Completely Dave in every descriptive word.
    I agree wholeheartedly, “Bless him in the final months of his career and bring him success as a writer beyond his dreams.”

     
     
    1. Thanks for stopping by and joining the chat, Susan. I know David appreciates it too. Please come again!

       
       
    2. Hi Susan: Thanks for the comment, and the prayer. For other readers, I must make full disclosure: Suz is my cousin, a writer in her own right.

       
       
  6. Even though I’ve known Dave since meeting him at a 2011 writing conference, I learned new things here. I’ve enjoyed his books on his teen years and his “Candy Store” book too. He’s an excellent writer, and I’m anxious to learn more about those upcoming cozy mysteries …

     
     
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Susan. I’m sure David appreciates it too. Please stop by again. God bless you’

       
       
    2. Hi Susan. Thanks for dropping by and commenting, and for plugging “The Candy Store Generation” and the Danny Tompkins short stories. You see I’ve been hiding things from you! The cozy mysteries will happen some day, as long as I’m able to write into my 70s. This day job sure gets in the way of writing.

       
       
      1. From the looks of all your books, your day job hasn’t scratched the surface of your productivity. Bravo, David!

         
         

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Let’s Chat! Author Henry McLaughlin

Welcome, Everyone!

This week we chat with Henry McLaughlin, a writer who like me has a bit of gray on top. 🙂 He and I both won the Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel contest (2011 and 2014 respectively). I’m eager to know Henry better.

So let’s gather ’round to learn more about this gentleman writer. Please comment below. You’ll help make this a richer conversation. And you just might win one of Henry’s books.

Henry McLaughlin Before Writing

Henry’s heritage is Irish.
Henry married a girl of Italian heritage.

Born and raised in Rhode Island in a strong Irish-Catholic heritage, I married at age twenty a beautiful Italian girl of nineteen. This may not seem like much to many people, but, at the time, ethnicity was a very strong component in the state. When it was announced I was getting married, one of my father’s Italian friends expressed amazement that he was letting me marry an Italian girl. My father, in a perfect Irish brogue, responded, “Well, you see now, Tony, it’s the curse of the Irish that we must help those who are less well off than ourselves.”


W
e raised five wonderful children—or more accurately, they raised us. (Tweet That!) The oldest is in heaven and the others are all grown and on their own.

I earned a bachelor’s degree in American History and a Master’s in Social Work. For thirty years, I worked in public child welfare. This was a rich experience I draw on to get into the emotions of my characters.

In 1999, my wife and I moved to Texas to be part of Kenneth Copeland Ministries. I served with the ministry for nearly ten years until God opened the door for me to write full time.

Henry McLaughlin, the Writer

For many years I dabbled with writing and started my first book in the 1990s. A writer without a clue, I loved to read and figured that was all I needed in order to write. Undisciplined for several years, I wrote sporadically. Actually I rewrote the first chapter many times, never getting to chapter two. And was never satisfied with chapter one.

In the early 2000s, with my wife’s loving support and encouragement, I decided to get serious about this whole writing thing. I signed up for the courses offered through Jerry Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild.

The Guild sponsored the Operation First Novel contest in partnership with Tyndale. I entered my novel and received a polite letter congratulating me on completing a novel. And to keep trying.

I rewrote the manuscript and reentered the following year. I celebrated when I was named as a semi-finalist, but when the four finalists were announced, I was not listed. I figured being a semi-finalist would help when I pitched to agents.


On the first night of the Writing for the Soul Conference of 2010, Jerry Jenkins announced a mistake had been made. Five, not four, entries reached the finals. I was the missing finalist, the one who was left behind. Then he announced my book as the winner of the contest. The prize: a publishing contract with Tyndale House and $20,000.

Only God could arrange such a total surprise.

Tyndall released Journey to Riverbend  in February, 2011.

I indie published two more books, Riverbend Justice, and Riverbend Reunion  and re-released Journey to Riverbend as an indie publication in 2016. Together, the three novels form the Riverbend Sagas series.


A Bit of Wisdom from Henry McLaughlin

  • Writing is hard work. An author needs to develop patience, diligence, and a thick skin.
  • We can only control so much. We need to write the best stories we possibly can. And leave the rest to God.
  • We can’t control if or how we get published. There are too many aspects of the business beyond the author’s control.
  • Never stop learning the craft. Write every day if possible. Read magazines and books on the craft. Read novels to learn how others do it.
  • Attend conferences and workshops. Network. Build relationships with writing partners for critiquing and encouragement. Hook up with a mentor and give that person freedom to speak honestly and, at times, bluntly, into your life. I whined to my mentor once about not having enough time to write. Her response: “Get up earlier.”
  • Never stop learning and discovering yourself as a person and a writer. Work on your relationship with God as much as you do with your spouse and as you do on your writing. Be in a position to be guided by him on both your personal and writing journeys.

How to find Henry McLaughlin

My website: http://www.henrymclaughlin.org
Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/henry.mclaughlin.79
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2riOpCQ

Lord …

You show Your faithfulness by calling Your servants from grand and lowly places. You called King David from a sheep pasture and Elisha from a plowed field, Esther from a lowly home and Samuel from the grandeur of the Temple. You call writers like Henry McLaughlin from their chosen professions to write stories that point others to You. We bless Your Name and ask You to bless the work of Henry’s hands and his heart that Your name will be lifted up in all it’s might and glory. ~ For Jesus’ sake

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22 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Henry McLaughlin

  1. Lucy Reynolds

    I enjoyed reading this. Congratulations to you both on your award. Blessings

     
     
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Lucy! You’ve encouraged us!

       
       
    2. Henry McLaughlin

      Thank you, Lucy. I appreciate your stopping by.

       
       
  2. Marilyn R

    Linda and Henry, Congratulations on winning the Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel contest. Another new author introduced to this reader with a beautiful testimony about God’s leading and rewards when waiting upon him for that first publication. Riverbend Saga series will be a great series to read–the covers are beautiful and captured my attention. God bless you both as yo continue to write stories for His glory and honor.

     
     
    1. Marilyn, thanks for stopping by. Your comments encourage both Henry and me.

       
       
    2. Henry McLaughlin

      Thank you, Marilyn, for visiting and for your encouraging words.

       
       
  3. Wise words, Henry! Your story is inspiring.

     
     
    1. Glad you stopped by, Jenny. Henry’s a great author to follow.

       
       
    2. Henry McLaughlin

      Thanks, Jenny. You’re so sweet!

       
       
  4. Great interview, Linda and Henry. I, too, have more than a sprinkling of gray, and I have to fight the voices that tell me I’m too old for the writing life. Thank you for your example and encouraging story.

     
     
    1. Henry McLaughlin

      You’re most welcome, Kathleen. Those voices speak to me to. I have found a Scripture to stand on when they seem to be shouting. It’s Isiah 40:31 (NLT): But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
      They will soar high on wings like eagles.
      They will run and not grow weary.
      They will walk and not faint.
      Another word for faint is discouraged. Don’t let those voices sow discouragement in your heart. Trust in the Lord and you will soar.

       
       
    2. Hi, Kathleen. I love rehearing from authors who have been guests here before. Thank you for returning and joining our conversation. God’s blessings on you and yours! Linda

       
       
  5. […] Here is the link: http://lindabrooksdavis.com/henry-mclaughlin/lets-chat-author-henry-mclaughlin/ […]

     
     
    1. I’m honored to have you as my guest this week, Henry.

       
       
      1. Henry McLaughlin

        Thank you, Linda. It’s a blessing for me to part of your blog community.

         
         
  6. Being an older author myself, I identify with Henry. It’s nice to know God doesn’t let us sit around and get moldy in the last third of our lives. Henry’s wisdom on writing is up there with Solomon’s.

     
     
    1. Henry McLaughlin

      Thank you, Clarice. Especially for the comment about Solomon.
      My wife likes to tell people writing is my third career. I’m looking forward to continuing this journey God has started me on.

       
       
      1. God bless you on this journey, Henry.

         
         
        1. Henry McLaughlin

          Thank you, Linda. I receive that.

           
           
      2. I, like you, Henry, love having an opportunity for another career.

         
         
        1. Henry McLaughlin

          Amen, Linda.
          I like the challenge of a writing career especially when I know God’s hand is on it. And it’s never boring.

           
           
    2. I’m with you, Clarice! Thanks for chatting with us.

       
       

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