LocalLit is newsletter that connects local authors with local readers. Each week a new short story by a local author – or a review of a book written by a local author – is sent directly to subscribers email.
Next week's short story is by Donald Bingle of St. Charles. Bingle is the author of six books and more than fifty shorter works in the thriller, horror, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, steampunk, romance, comedy, and memoir genres.
Recently Bingle took a few minutes to speak via email with Herald-News features editor Denise M. Baran-Unland.
Baran-Unland: Tell us a bit about your writing background.
Bingle: I'm a role-playing gamer turned writer. I played and won enough RPGA tournaments to be the world's top-ranked player of classic role-playing games (things like Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Top Secret, Paranoia, Chill, Boot Hill, and more) for the last 15 years of the last century. I also game-mastered (ran and judged) tournaments, which led to writing tournament scenarios, then materials for various game products published by companies like TSR, then tie-in fiction for Dragonlance, Transformers, and other properties. I started writing stories in my own worlds, many of which were published in themed anthologies by DAW and other companies. Eventually, I started writing screenplays and novels – mostly thrillers of one type or another.
Baran-Unland: What types of stories do you like to write?
Bingle: Because I was kind of an unofficial back-up writer for DAW anthologies (filling in when someone missed deadline, or all the contributing authors wrote to the short end of the requested range), I often got asked to write stories very quickly to very specific specifications, which means I wrote stories in a wide variety of genres: science fiction, horror, fantasy, mystery, steampunk, romance, and comedy, among others. I find unintended consequences to be fertile ground for stories, especially stories about time travel, alternate history, steampunk, and the like. I've also been told many times that I have a dark sense of humor.
Baran-Unland: Give a one-line summary about your featured short story.
Bingle: It's embarrassing to be afraid; sometimes you can embarrass yourself to death.
Baran-Unland: Have you published any books and/or are you working on one now?
Bingle: Six books: "Forced Conversion" (near future military sci-fi about humanity's conversion to virtual reality); "Net Impact" and "Wet Work" (the first two books in my spy thriller series); "GREENSWORD" (a darkly comedic eco-thriller about global warming); "Frame Shop" (murder in a suburban writers' group); and "The Love-Haight Case Files" (with co-author Jean Rabe – an urban fantasy legal mystery horror thriller about lawyers who represent supernatural creatures in a magic-filled San Francisco). I also edited Familiar Spirits, an anthology of ghost stories which has tales by many local writers. Finally, I've done some ghostwriting and written some screenplays and other things.
Baran-Unland: Where can people find more information about you?
Bingle: Visit my website at donaldjbingle.com or follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere @donaldjbingle. I've also got an authors page on Amazon.com.
To submit a short story or book for review, contact Denise M. Baran-Unland at 815-280-4122 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To sign up for the LocalLit newsletter and read Bingle's story, visit www.theherald-news.com/newsletter/locallit/#//.