With a climactic finish between a group of Middle Eastern radicals, militiamen and a couple under witness protection, author George Lindamood’s “The Accidental Peacemaker” is anything but peaceful for ex-airline pilot Walter Baker.
Placed in the woods near Klamath Falls, Ore., the novel sends Baker, like Lindamood himself, to find himself again in middle age.
“The book speaks to anybody who has ever been divorced, downsized, discouraged or depressed in life’s rough-and-tumble ride,” Lindamood said.
“All of those things have happened to me, some of them more than once. I think that what I learned through all that might be helpful to others — at least, I hope it will be.”
Based in a real Pacific Northwest with surreal characters, including a psychic duck, the book takes Baker on an adventure, proving to readers life doesn’t come to a halt in middle age.
“I want to give people a different approach to things is what I’m trying to do,” Lindamood said. “The first half of his life doesn’t have to be the same as the second half. People never thought I’d write a novel at 74, but you don’t have to dry up and go play shuffleboard.”
Baker encounters a series of interesting characters that slowly reveal surprising tidbits — a fishing guide who was a counselor, the landlords under witness protection and a love interest.
“They are all interconnected in some capacity,” Lindamood said. “Along with the local militia and a radical Muslim group come together with AK-47s at the end.”
Lindamood practices what he preaches. After semi-retiring in 2001 from the information technology field, he went on to work with Sequim Middle Schoolers as an AmeriCorps volunteer, taught English in China, earned a doctorate in religious studies, led a course on Islam and continues to play piano at his church.
Three years ago he got the urge to produce a novel, which he started writing about a year ago.
Lindamood considered a deal with a small publisher but after attending a self-publishing seminar at the Dungeness Schoolhouse, he went the self-publishing route online through Amazon.
“It would have taken one to two years before the book was released,” he said.
“(The Accidental Peacemaker) went live on Amazon on Dec. 1. I ordered some copies and received them the next week.”
It’s on consignment in town at The Good Book and Pacific Mist Books, in Port Angeles booksellers, online in print and e-edition through Amazon, but Lindamood’s preference is that readers try their local booksellers first. Readers can also check it out from Sequim Library.
Approaching his first book, Lindamood said he had some things to say but didn’t want to be preachy.
After studying world religions and philosophies, he felt it more appropriate to wrap ideas in fiction.
“It’s an interesting story regardless of your beliefs,” he said. “It ends in an improbable way but part of that is to have hooks for a sequel (tentatively titled “The Intentional Peacemaker”).
As a hook to pique readers’ interest in his writing style, he’s selling the short story “Love in the Time of Erectile Dysfunction” for $0.99 cents on Amazon through Kindle formats.
Lindamood jokes that in no way is it an autobiography, but a funny story.
Through his writings, his goal is to engage more people in conversation.
“This is more than ‘buy my book,’ but I want them to talk to me,” he said.
For more information on “The Accidental Peacemaker,” contact Lindamood at firstname.lastname@example.org.