Writer's Roost Home Page

Last update: 12 July 2015

Welcome to Steven Houchin's writing website. He is the author of novels, short stories, non-fiction articles, technical papers, and also performs editing services for other writers. He was honored when his second novel won the Pacific Northwest Writers Association's 2007 Literary Contest in the Mystery/Thriller category. Also, he served as a judge in PNWA's annual literary contest for both 2009 and 2010 in their Sci-Fi/Fantasy category.

Please check out his Writer's Roost BLOG. It contains book reviews, announcements, and articles on the writing craft. Please post your comments on any of the articles. Also, take a look at our list of upcoming Literary Conferences and Contests.

By the way, if you think you are related to Steven, check out his family genealogy website.

News items:

** Steven's article "A Journey Through Time" appears in the October 2011 issue of Northwest Prime Time magazine. It tells the story of a letter he wrote while in kindergarten that returned to him 49 years later, unopened.

** Steven gave an interview about his writing experience to local Seattle author Norma Nill, which you can read on her blog.

** Steven served as guest blogger at the Literary Liasons site with a posting titled "So, You Want to Win a Literary Contest?" In it, he explains some of the factors that will help your manuscript break through the clutter of contest entries to maximize the chance of winning.

** Steven's non-fiction article "McGraw Square" was published in the Summer 2009 issue (Vol. 23 No. 2) of Columbia Magazine, a publication of the Washington State Historical Society. It details the history of a statue in downtown Seattle that honors John McGraw, who served in the 1880s and 1890s as King County Sheriff and Washington's second governor.

Book Review: The Lincoln Letter

Everything about Abraham Lincoln continues to fascinate historians and inspire novelists. This seems to be the case for the historical suspense novel, The Lincoln Letter, author William Martin's fifth installment in the Peter Fallon series. A few years ago, I wrote a review of the second in this series, Harvard Yard, a book that I thoroughly enjoyed and which I think is his best story of the lot.

In The Lincoln Letter, antique hunter Peter Fallon and his on and off partner Evangeline Carrington are again drawn into an historical treasure hunt, spurred on by the discovery of a letter by Lincoln. Written on the day of his death to a Lieutenant Hutchinson, it states that the lieutanant possesses something that the president wants returned, something that had been missing for three years.

Peter, of course, is determined to find out what the missing something is, and travels to Washington D.C. to dig deeper into the mystery. But, others are also on the trail, people who have more sinister motives. Eventually, they all come to believe that the missing item is Lincon's "day book", a diary where he has jotted down his thoughts on emancipation of the slaves.

As with his other books in the series, Martin jumps the reader back and forth in time, telling the story of Lieutenant Halsey Hutchinson and the day book; how he got hold of it, lost it, and strove to retrieve it again from 1862 through the end of the war and Lincon's assasination. Along the way, Hutchinson witnesses historic events and is involved with infamous figures like Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Wilkes Booth, Walt Whitman, and the president himself.

In the present day, Peter and Evangeline face peril at the hands of the competition, who aren't afraid to use murder to get what they want.

Of the Fallon novels, this may the the best after Harvard Yard, and is a couple of hundred pages shorter.

Steven Houchin -- 12 July 2015

To see previous essays and musing about writing, please visit my Web Log.