Monday, November 19, 2012

Just released: Hal Simpkin's THE LOG CABIN GAS STATION, prequel to G-EYE

Today it's my pleasure to introduce HAL D. SIMPKIN, a friend I met through the St. Louis Writers' Guild.  

HAL grew up in rural St. Louis County and in Memphis, Tenn. He graduated from Normandy High School in St. Louis.  Hal has an M.S. degree in Business Management from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., with undergraduate work done at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
   His two full-time employers were the United States Army and McDonnell Aircraft Corporation in St. Louis, where he was a member of the Flight Test Division. Extensive writing was done for both employers.
   A book entitled Paired Comparisons and Personnel Compensation: A Computer-Aided Approach was written as a required thesis for his postgraduate degree.  A copy is in the library at Lindenwood University.
   After retirement from McDonnell Douglas Corporation, Hal began writing for pleasure, both nonfiction and fiction. His nonfiction book, Captain William H. Thorwegen: A compilation of notes from Ruth Ferris, is in the Missouri Historical Society Library.
   Hal’s first novel, G-Eye, was published by High Hill Press in 2009. In 2010, his short story Road to the World, a memoir, was selected by the St. Louis Writers Guild for inclusion in its anthology, St. Louis Reflections, honoring the organization’s 90th anniversary.
   For a number of years, Hal served as a member of the Board of Advisors of St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf.  He also formed and directed a corporation that designed and produced revolutionary classroom amplifiers for teaching of the profoundly deaf.
   Hal and his wife, Chris, live in Missouri.

Hal will be signing books from 1-3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1, at:
All On The Same Page Bookstore
11052 Olive Blvd., Creve Coeur, MO
If you can’t make it to the signing and want Hal's books, they're available at:

Now, let's hear more about you, Hal!

The Writers’ Lens is about "Bringing fiction into focus." What brings your writing into focus--e characters, the stories, the love of words? The combination of all three.

What inspired your latest book? Memories of my wasted youth.

What do you think readers will like about your book? Good plot, great characters in a nostalgic setting.

Would you share a bit about your next project? Continuation of the Chris Christopher series. Chris has an interesting client.
What's your favorite way to interact with fans/readers? My blog. Visit it at www.haldsimpkin

How much fact is in your fiction? I don't remember.

What movie star would be perfect for (your main character) and why? Frank Sinatra at age 20-25.  Look alike!  He was a great actor.

What makes your book/characters unique? They think they're real.

What's the highest compliment someone could make about your writing?
It made me think. I liked it.

Is there a different genre or type of book you’d love to try to write? Not really.  I've done enough non-fiction for a lifetime.

What’s your favorite writing accessory or reference? Don't have a favorite, but I do wear out dictionaries.

What is your favorite writing/editing/query-reading snack? Beer and almonds.

If you could borrow one person’s zest for writing and/or life, whose and why?
Rex Stout. He had those qualities throughout his life.

Describe the best writer you know and something wonderful he or she has written. Do you really expect me to answer that?

Fill in the blanks: Writing/Editing books is like life.  You never know what to expect.

What tune/music could be the theme song for your book? "That  Lucky Old Sun" by Frankie Lane
THE LOG CABIN GAS STATION: Chris Christopher is a people-person. And being a people-person around a collection of quirky characters can get a guy involved in ten or a dozen strange problems.

Chris needs funds for another year of college - so he's back at his last-summer job as a gas-station attendant. The typical workday is periods of furious activity with plenty of idle time for pre-semester study. And a number of visiting loafers from the neighborhood supply usually good, always engaging, company. 

Adventure, mystery, nostalgia and romance... important ingredients in the life of a man when he and the world were young.

G-EYE: World War II is barely history when Chris Christopher, a young man from Missouri, responds to a Selective Service notice to register for another possible draft. At the Registrations Center he meets two army recruiters with an interesting pitch. The army has a need for young men who match their unusual requirements. Chris is a match.

After hurried arrangements and rapid changes to his lifestyle, Chris closes out his college career, takes a night train for Chicago, and meets with a couple of atypical army officers. This is where his adventure begins.


This is T.W. Fendley. Thanks for reading and commenting on The Writers' Lens. You can find out more about me at

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