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Jeff Lewis, TDN Artists

Clips from films produced by Luciano Saber

PLACEBO EFFECT - This espionage thriller was shot on location in Chicago and had a limited theatrical release.

SCARED - This upbeat feature film was shot on the Sony lot on 35mm Kodak film.

AH! Vision

(c) 2009 LUCIANO SABER, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Lt. Col. John C. Orndorff

Interviewed by Cristi Stitz

Chris is the author of many books, the two most recently published, for sale on Amazon.com: Terrorists, Tornadoes, and Tsunamis: How To Prepare for Life’s Danger Zones, and How Have The Mighty Fallen.

Below, we will find out a little bit more about the story behind the author and what challenges he has come across, in the publishing world.

Who is your biggest author influence?  

Cristi, this is a very tough question for me. http://www.amazon.com/Terrorists-Tornados-Tsunamis-Prepare-Danger/dp/0810957671/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281392506&sr=1-1-spellhttp://www.amazon.com/Terrorists-Tornados-Tsunamis-Prepare-Danger/dp/0810957671/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281392506&sr=1-1-spellhttp://www.amazon.com/Have-Mighty-Fallen-Christian-Orndorff/dp/1413791433/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282317018&sr=8-2http://www.amazon.com/Have-Mighty-Fallen-Christian-Orndorff/dp/1413791433/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282317018&sr=8-2http://www.amazon.com/Have-Mighty-Fallen-Christian-Orndorff/dp/1413791433/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282317018&sr=8-2shapeimage_7_link_0shapeimage_7_link_1shapeimage_7_link_2shapeimage_7_link_3

The best answer would have to be C.S. Lewis-all of his books, but in particular, The Problem of Pain and The Chronicles of Narnia. However, there are other authors who have profoundly touched me. One of these is Guy Sayer who wrote The Forgotten Soldier about his experience as a German soldier on the Russian Front during World War II.


What inspires you to write?


I have to go back to C.S. Lewis on this. When I was in graduate school I had to write so many papers dealing with philosophy and religion that I began to realize I had something to say. Reading C.S. Lewis’ books made me want to write the way he did. I have to admit that I have consistently missed this mark but I still strive to write in a way that will touch other people the way other authors have touched me. I must add that I like the idea that my writings will survive me. C.S. Lewis has been gone from this life for almost 50 years yet his writings touch people every day.


Why are your novels so religiously based?


When I was 20 years old I realized there was something missing from my life and I instinctively knew it was God. Initially I began looking toward Buddhism and other religions but after reading though the New Testament I realized that I believed Jesus Christ is who he said he was, God, and that he became human to die in my place. I know that in my life I have completely missed the mark God set for me and my only redemption is through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. Moreover, if we really believe what we say we believe it should manifest itself in our lives. In my case it is through my writings.  My most recent work The Gilgamesh Epic, which is still under construction, is heavily based on my faith and in it I hope to convey the many things I have learned from the Bible.


Have you envisioned any of your novels being turned into films?


I think every author thinks about their work being turned into film and I have to admit that the thought intrigues me greatly. I have loved the film productions of The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia.  I would love to see my book, Prince Michael and the Dragon, finally become a movie.


How did you get published?


After I wrote Prince Michael and the Dragon I quarried several publishers and as I like to say, ‘I am no stranger to rejection.’ My wife, Debbie, and I began research on self-publishing and started our own publishing house called Amulet Press. We printed three books in this way; Prince Michael and the Dragon, Prince John’s Quest, and Princess Mary and the Prophet. A few years ago I was contacted by Harry N. Abrams Publishers. They wanted to buy the name Amulet Press and in the end offered me a book deal to write, Terrorists, Tornados and Tsunamis: How to Prepare for Life’s Danger Zones. My next book, a novel, How Have the Mighty Fallen, was published by Publish America.  The best thing any author can do is continue writing and get their work out where it can be seen.  You never know who will see it.


What have your experiences been working with different publishing houses?


Very frustrating! I am a retired Air Force Officer and part of my career was teaching at Air Command and Staff College. While I was a faculty member there I was a member of a research team writing a book on the Air Force’s involvement in Bosnia in 1995. My chapter was on leadership and I thought my writing style was pretty good. However, the team leader was the editor and he had a completely different writing style. Also the process was very slow-three years. When I wrote Terrorists, Tornados and Tsunamis, the experience was much the same and I believe it took four years from start to finish. Once a book is published it is always exhilarating but getting to this point can be a little bumpy.


Have you ever worked with an editor? What did they edit and how was the process?


As I mentioned editors have their own style and they are the boss, so my attitude is go with the flow and do what the boss wants. I have to admit that while in the Air Force I was a team leader once.


We did not write a book but a major research project and related article, “Lessons from the Kriegsakademie: A Reflection of the Present? A Road Map for the Future?” that was printed in the Air Power Journal. I think I caused my team mates a little heartache when I rewrote everything they submitted.


You have had a very decorated military career. Have your writings been influenced by your military experiences? Will you tell us a little about these?


The military has been and continues to be a big part of my life. Because of the armed forces I have lived an incredible life. During Vietnam I spent four years in the Navy as a hospital corpsman and neuropsychiatric technician. My experiences in psychiatry have been a huge benefit throughout my career. Following the Navy I spent a short while preaching in a small Baptist Church while I was in graduate school. It was at this time I once again heard the call to military service so, after graduation, I was commissioned in the Air Force. While in the Air Force I served as a commander, protocol officer, executive officer, Air Force Office of Special Investigations Special Agent, and Air University faculty member. By far my best times were as a special agent and the times I worked with Luciano Saber. We did so many things, many of which we still can’t discuss but suffice it to say we had fun.  Following my retirement from the Air Force I spent two years conducting antiterrorism activities for the US State Department. In this capacity I traveled to a country every week which added greatly to my resume. My background as a special agent and in antiterrorism landed me the book deal with Abrams. How Have the Mighty Fallen, is based on my experiences working with Luciano in counter drug operations. Now I’m teaching Air Force Junior ROTC, which puts me back in uniform during the school year. As a teacher I’ve realized that teachers are not equipped to deal with the many violent events that take place in schools every day. So as a good special agent I’ve been training teachers in the prevention of school violence and bullying. In this regard I’m still toying with the idea of writing a handbook for teachers dealing with these problems. §