PORT ANGELES — Larry Howard wasn’t going to bother much with Blood of the Dragon.
He wrote the novel over several long weekends in California’s Anza-Borrego desert. And after some revisions, he opted not to send it to any publishing houses.
“I had no interest in getting 4,000 rejection letters,” Howard, 84, said in a recent interview from his Agnew home.
But at the urging of his son, David, who lives in Poway, Calif., Howard decided to self-publish the book, a political-techno thriller that travels across time, across the globe and into a multinational chaos involving crude oil.
Then Howard — who will read from Dragon tonight at the Port Angeles Library — found a thrill of his own.
Kirkus Reviews, venerable vetter of books of all kinds, posted a glowing review of his 353-page paperback, calling it both “daring” and “satisfying.”
Dragon’s first scene depicts the extinction of the dinosaurs — which led to the fossil fuel that roils the world throughout Howard’s tale.
Then, as Kirkus notes, “the narrative jets around the world to multiple settings,” from Iran to China to Israel to the United States, where all kinds of plots are developing among people seeking to control the crude-oil supply.
“Howard deftly choreographs these potentially flighty plots, a remarkable feat,” according to the review, found by searching for Blood of the Dragon on www.KirkusReviews.com.
With its “short chapters and abrupt changes in setting, from the Oval Office to Shenyang, China,” Dragon is “almost kaleidoscopic,” Kirkus continues.
This is not a complete rave, though: “These brief sections keep the reader burning through the pages, but there are a few instances in an otherwise thoughtfully crafted plot where elegance is sacrificed for efficiency.
“However, a techno-thriller with a message about humanity’s stewardship of resources is a welcome addition to a genre that often suffers from too many hack jobs and the wanton excesses of special-ops machismo,” the review says.
“This is a book that plunges readers into a world dominated by avarice, fierce competition and breakneck innovation, and delivers them to a rousing, hopeful conclusion.”
Dragon is also on sale for $16.95 at downtown Port Angeles’ Port Book and News, 104 E. First St., and Odyssey Books, 114 W. Front St., and in Sequim at Pacific Mist Books, 121 W. Washington St.
Cost of book
On the author’s website, www.HowardBook.com, the paperback sells for $14.95, while the e-reader format is $9.99.
While Dragon is fiction, it comes from the mind of a retired chemical and mechanical engineer.
“Everything in the book is chemically possible,” Howard said.
For more information, visit his website, email email@example.com or phone 360-417-8812.
________Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3550 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.