A Technothriller with Depth, Breadth, and Heart, and an Interview with David Bergsland

14 Sep

Review of David Bergsland’s Daniel’s Mighty Men *****

This book is full of strong, sometimes sweet, but always multi-dimensional female characters, for those women who might snub books by a guy. Don’t snub this one just because it’s a techno-thriller written by a guy. There’s married love and partnership, even romance for all ages, and realistic portrayals of love that just didn’t work out.

You will be richly rewarded even if you don’t like “religious books”. Tech stuff? Check. Near-futurism? Check? Political thriller? Check. Southwestern cultural immersion? Well, yeah. Check, check, and double check.

David Bergsland says in his description that this is a full-sized book. It is that, indeed. I think it rivals great classics like War and Peace and Bleak House for sheer number of characters, detail, descriptions, and location-hopping.

Remember those thousand-piece jigsaw puzzles that you wanted to quit on but had to finish? This is one of those. Keep at it.

The people who discover faith for themselves do so by many methods: by the life testimony of others, by personal reason, by surprise sometimes. And not everyone discovers it. Not everyone is perfect. Some folks are downright strange, but all of them fit in.

1. Many people say that authors can’t or don’t do well with more than one genre. What do you think prepared you or qualifies you to write these different types of books?
I write a lot of non-fiction about font design and self-publishing focused on helping new Christian autheors get up and running. I have also written a radical endtimes novel “The Righteous Perish”, a technothriller “Daniel’s Mighty Men”. I have no qualifications other than my long experience as a designer, teacher, and reader.

2. What do you say to the charge that men can’t write romances that women will like, and how will you tempt guys to read your books?
I don’t know about that. The real problem is that women have trouble writing romances that appeal to men. In most of the romances, there’s nothing going on. The characters are not doing anything except relating to one another.

3. Tell us a little about your “real” (Non-writing) life — family, job, church life. Does it give you inspiration for your writing? Does it get in the way of your writing, or are there times when you get help, from people or circumstances?
I’m supposedly retired, living and working at home [a life-long desire], writing and publishing full-time [also a long desire], taking care of my Pastor wife who has been laid low with physical problems [3 spinal fusions, 2 total shoulders, 5 surgeries on her “good” knee, and a lot more). It’s the best time I have ever had, and I love it.

4. Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction.
Wrote, read, publish, and take care of my wife whenever she needs help.

5. Tell us about working with any people who help you create your books — Do you use Beta readers? Hire an editor or proofreader? How do you get your covers?
I do it all with no formal help other than my social connections online. I have no social life, proofers, editors, or designers. I’ve been a graphic designer since the early 1970s. I taught digital printing since 1991. I started designing fonts in 1994. Was asked to write my first textbook, “Printing In a Digital World”, in 1994. I started self-publishing ebooks in 1996. Joined Lulu in 2002 and the rest as soon as they were available. Started writing and publishing full-time in June 2009 when I turned 65.

6. Since you have several books out, tell us what you think works for promotion. What are your thoughts on ebooks versus print books and different ways to let people know about you and your books?
Prayer. That’s my only promotion. Nothing else works for me. I respond to opportunities He places in front of me.
I put them out in Print, downloadable color PDFs, ePUBs [both with embedded fonts for iBooks and Kindle Fire—and as dumb ePUBs for Nook, Kobo, and e-ink Kindles].

7. Have you done anything writing-related, but besides your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
I wrote all the materials for my digital publishing courses for business colleges. The students encouraged me calling my books fun to read. I’ve edited [and wrote] several newsletters, a monthly Christian newspaper/magazine. I blog quite a bit, comment on others postings, and write in several forums.

8. Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.
Writing In InDesign Third Edition is due out in November. InDesign CC is a major upgrade in its ability to make professional ePUBs easily. I’m basically radically editing and rewriting much of the content. I am being much more open about my desire to focus on Christian authors. I want them to be able to publish their work professionally and for almost no money.
Tentative name: “Drawing Out the King” I’m also working on a fantasy which takes place on an invented world. On that world, the religious church is trying to take over the Kingdom—killing the Known [true believers]. The King is weak and has allowed a lot of occult powers into his castle. When the church kills the king and installs its head as the new King, the occult forces really ramp up. The hero is a Known artist whom the Lord tells to get involved in the mess. The first book in the trilogy is about half written, but I trying to learn how to actually construct a story better. I have no idea how it will end at this  point. Or rather, I have about a dozen different ways it may turn out.
Tentative name: “Nuked!” I also have about half of the second book in the Black Sail trilogy written. I’m struggling with story development there also. In it, an arms dealer steals three US nuclear bombs. He sets one off to help the sales of the other two. He has some real bitterness toward the US judicial system [with good reason]. Stones will have to take him down when no one on earth in any of the intelligence operations can find him. Most have no idea this bad guy even exists. How will the Lord help her to get this done?

9. What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)
I have one overall message: God’s expects His people to know Him in the Biblical sense, as a groom knows his bride, deeply, intimately, completely sharing everything in their life with the Lord. We are supposed to talk with Him, get instruction from Him, obey Him, and above all love and trust Him. The Lord enables His people to work under the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit in real everyday life. This is the normal Christian life. This applies to spec op warriors, artists, pastors, or any of those who have been born from above as God’s child.

10. Tell us one place you visited or person you met, that made a big impression on you, and why.
25 years in New Mexico radically changed how I look at the world. I expect it to be beautiful and well cared for. We are to design our environment for beauty, harmony, and ministry.
The person who made the most impression on me [other than my wife] is the district supervisor she had when she was a Senior pastor in a church we started in Albuquerque [Foursquare]. He was a man who constantly lived under the anointing, showing Jesus as vitally present in his daily life. He was a wonderful man.
The bishop over us in West Virginia where we started a new Episcopal church. He was an ex-prize fighter and a wonderful Godly man.

11. Tell us one place you want to visit, or person you want to meet, and why.
Heaven and meet Jesus, Paul, John, and all the other crazy artists like myself who are unseen in the world. The things of the world grow strangely dim…

12. Share something that makes you laugh, with just plain humor, or happiness, or because it’s so stupid.
Oswald Chambers wrote, “You can always tell the true saint. He is the one sitting in the corner on the floor laughing uproariously at how ludicrous it all is.” The Lord cracks me up, and I have come to understand what Oswald was talking about.
13. Share something that’s amazing, touching, or that makes you angry.
Religion infuriates me—by managing to take the gospel and turn it into an institution devoid of life. The Pharisees had nothing on the modern denominational church, and you know how the Lord felt about them.

14. What’s the worst trouble you ever had with getting a book written (plots, finding needed information, getting a cover done)?
I’m presently involved with learning how to write fiction. Story structure, plot development and all of that is very foreign to me. I read and write sp0ntaneously with little thought about how it’s put together. I mean: I carefully put my books together in the best manner I know to communicate  with and help my readers understand the message. I’ve read 300-500 books a year since 1953 or 54. I find it almost impossible to step outside and analyze the hows and whys of book structure. I get too involved with the actual story. Now I’m finding I need more knowledge than that for fiction.

15. What’s your next project? Tell us so we can’t wait for it to come out!
Writing In InDesign Third Edition
Nuked! Black Sail #2
Drawing Out a King, The Ferellon trilogy #1
I covered all of them in Question 8.
David Bergsland

Publisher: Desktop publishing using InDesign: tips, tricks, and training for ministries and church secretaries
• Writing In InDesign
• Practical Professional Self-Publishing Handbook

The Skilled Workman:
Twitter: @davidbergsland

The Christian Authors of Radiqx Press:
Twitter: @radiqxpress
• Easily Understanding Scripture & Advanced Discipleship Bible Studies
• Christian Fiction: Daniel’s Mighty Men
• Creationist: The Earth Is Young; The Triad

FaceBook: radiqxpress

Typographer and Font Designer
Hackberry Font Foundry
Author: “Practical Font Design”

Here’s a link to David’s many other books on Amazon.


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