Sunday, November 13, 2011

Immodest tribute to a modest man

A photo by Steve published
on Moristotle's forerunning blog
(May 2006)
I'd learned more about my nephew Steve Glossin over the past dozen years than I ever picked up in our "youths." Working with him on several writing projects had us in touch by email often several times a day for several years.
    Extraordinarily talented, Steve is one of the most unassuming, modest people I know. When he approached me, in 1999, I think, with fifty pages of manuscript to look at (if I would; Steve would never presume), I didn't know what to expect. I'd never known Steve to write anything (that I can now remember trying to remember).
    Well, the story he had started writing, just for fun, commanded my attention with its sure voice and authority. It was set in Iraq and involved U.N. weapons inspections and a messianic imam. I recognized it for the real thing and encouraged Steve to continue. The story became his first novel, Prophecy of the Medallion.
    Another book followed in quick succession. Steve knocked out The Grail of Malta while I was editing Prophecy. It wasn't that I'm a slow editor, it was that he's a very fast writer. Set mainly on Malta, it had significant scenes in Germany and Jerusalem as well, and heavily involved the Roman Catholic Church, on whose "watch list" his two main characters are listed.
    And Death Mask quickly followed that, incorporating some characters from Prophecy, traveling them half-way around the world to cross swords with as sharply drawn an assassin as I've come across in fiction.
    Death Mask may be my favorite. While I was editing it, Steve set to work on a sequel, to be titled Far Stone. For a while, it looked to me as though Steve had found characters and their profession on which to base a series of novels; his two main characters were sort of salvage experts, to borrow a phrase from John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee.

I want you to know the contents of an about the author paragraph we fashioned for submission to prospective publishers:
Before settling down in Bavaria to write, retired U.S. Army Logistics Warrant Officer Steve Glossin served in Vietnam and Germany. A world traveler, Glossin is also a veteran speaker who has engaged many audiences, both military and civilian.
    All of Steve's books have been inspired by and set in places he has visited. Few travelers make so good use of their visits to foreign lands.
    So far, Far Stone has not been finished. Steve and I had worked hard to try to find a publisher for his books, but with no success in the New York publishing world or in any other publishing world I sent submissions to. He finally got fed up reading published thrillers inferior to his own—which no publishing house was snapping up—and stopped writing.
    But electronic publishing was getting big, and it became a why-not no-brainer to try. All three of his finished novels have come out on Kindle and Nook, but Steve has withdrawn them for further work.
    I hope he'll pick up Far Stone again. I'd love to read it.

Steve's fictional output also includes ten or so short stories—quite accomplished, too. One or two of them I thought I'd published on Moristotle, but if I did I can't find them. Perhaps Steve published them on one of his blogs.
    You can find some of Moristotle's posts that mention Steve here.

Steve's main writing now seems to be for his blog, Visitors, where he follows the exploits of the various scamps who grace his back yard in Germany.
    It was with Steve that I started blogging. I'm not sure why we did it—probably out of curiosity—but we experimented for a couple of months, both posting to a blog I set up on Blogspot, which had been suggested to me by an IT friend at work. After we got the hang of it, Steve started his own blog, and our joint blog became...Moristotle. In fact, a few of its first posts (from 2006) were written by Steve. As you'll see if you check them out, he was already an accomplished photographer (see his copious work on Visitors). But photography is another of the many things he does without crowing about them.

Out of the blue, Steve's story about motorcycling in the 1960's has just been published on Motomynd, which I featured on Thursday. What I find distinctive about it is the video that accompanies it, translated from an old 8 mm movie. I know it's an important video, for Motomynd told me: "Between Steve's effort and the bank ad video, I feel the fledgling moto site has two signature videos that do a better job telling people what Motomynd is about than all my words in between." Signature video, dig that. (And check out the bank ad video Motomynd mentions.)

Has Steve ever crowed about anything? Well, maybe one. He might have been crowing (it was many years ago) when he told me that he was a member of MENSA. I was impressed then, and I'm still impressed now.

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