Half-Life of the Lie

by Roger Gloss

Kindle Direct Publishing, 2018

After a three-year sojourn into writing nonfiction, a place I had once feared to go, I’ve returned to the novel.  Half-Life of the Lie is the result.  It feels good to be back to writing fiction.

I am disappointed with the tepid response to my earlier novel Third Wind.  I’m proud of the book, and feel that it’s an important story, still highly relevant.  But the sheer length of Third Wind has been an inhibitor to broad readership.  We all have many choices of what to read, and even avid readers will hesitate to read a long book they know nothing about.

So Half-Life of the Lie is short – less than half of Third Wind in length – but still powerful, in my view.  No spoiler alerts here, but I promise you an engaging plot, believable characters, facts and realism, and confrontation of big themes.

And one more teaser:  There are perspectives on American behavior different from the myopic view that has been drilled into us by our politicians and the capitalists who would have us believe that America is exceptional among nations.  Half-Life of the Lie examines another perspective.

I have a personal disdain for sequels.  Especially in the world of self-publishing I see many authors who seek to thrive on writing long series, hoping to hook the reader on one volume and draw them into the rest.  Some of these people have talent as writers; others do not.

You will never see a sequel from me, even if you beg for one.  I relish trying something different with each new effort.  Half-Life of the Lie reflects this, and yet there is a flow and a consistency with my earlier novels and there is no mistaking its author.  My fiction will always reflect my worldview, which continues to evolve as I live, read, and write.

Half-Life of the Lie surprised me – yes, writers can be surprised when they read their own work.  Despite my increasingly bleak worldview, the story turned out warm and hopeful, filled with possibility.  Try it on Amazon.

If Pigs Could Talk: The Case for a Plant-Based Diet

by Roger Gloss

Kindle Direct Publishing, February 2017

When I wrote and published my first novel Compared to What in 2009, I hadn’t the vaguest notion that I would be writing If Pigs Could Talk eight years later.  For one thing, I shied away from writing nonfiction, intimidated by the amount of research that might be required.  For another, I knew absolutely nothing at the time about animal agriculture and modern corporate factory farming.

I last blogged about this subject in August 2015.  I just now reread that post here and, per the values I hold today, it falls far short of meeting my standards for personal integrity.  I’ll leave that post in place, though, as a marker, as evidence for all to see of a personal journey which might not come easily to some – including me, perhaps – but which is entirely possible and more than worth the effort.

I can tell you honestly that I have now arrived at the ultimate destination:  I am vegan.  I eat only plants, and I’m better off for it in so many ways.  If Pigs Could Talk is, in a way, the story of what brought me here, and a road map to help others do the same, but with greater ease.  The research that went into it was not something I did in order to write a book; I did the research in the process of making my own transformation.  Once I’d done the research, I decided, why not write a book?

If Pigs Could Talk: The Case for a Plant-Based Diet is the result.  I think you will find it a short, easy read, as well as an engaging one.  I invite you to share my journey, and then decide for yourself whether you want to travel down this road.  I’ll be waiting there to welcome you.

Available on Amazon, both in affordable trade paperback and for Kindle.

Travels with Morgan in Search of America’s Future

by Roger Gloss

Kindle Direct Publishing (April 21, 2015)

My wife, my dog, and I returned home to California recently from a month-long road trip across the United States. This trip was the fulfillment of a retirement goal for me; its purpose was primarily to visit long lost friends and relatives, who all happen to live east of the Mississippi.  Along the way we made some new friends as well.


Morgan sees the future. Author Roger Gloss tries to see it, too. (Photo by Phyllis Shapiro)

We drove four days straight to reach our first destination in Ohio. We then visited my home town of East Aurora, New York, about which I have much to say.  After that we continued to the Boston area.  From there we turned south, with significant stops in Arlington, Virginia; Greenville, South Carolina; and Knoxville, Tennessee.  Our final visit was with a former neighbor who now lives halfway down the Florida peninsula.

From Florida we headed home, traveling most of the way on Interstate 10. A day and a half of walking the streets of New Orleans’ French Quarter merits much attention.

After 32 days and 8,048 miles you can’t help but get some sense of this vast country, even though the traveler’s perspective is admittedly quite superficial. But from living my whole life in the U.S., doing my best to stay informed of our history as well as current events, I could fill in some of the blanks, even through the windshield at 75 miles an hour and in the kitchens and living rooms of those we visited.

I’ve been deeply moved by this experience, in ways you can’t yet imagine. Travels with Morgan in Search of America’s Future is my take on just that:  where we find ourselves as a nation today, and what that may bode for the years and decades ahead.  It serves as a long overdue update to John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley in Search of America.

Now available in paperback and for Kindle on Amazon.com at a great price!  Join us in our journey across America!

Benjamin Pink and the Twenty-First Century

by Roger Gloss

Kindle Direct Publishing (April 20, 2014)

BenjaminPink21stCenturyCoverCan you spare 99 cents?  This is a short story I wrote way back in 2006.  I decided to publish it for Kindle to give readers a low-risk opportunity to try out my literary work.

“Benjamin Pink and the Twenty-First Century” is the sequel (in my imagination) to The Adventures of Benjamin Pink, a children’s novel written and illustrated by Garth Williams, which I read as an eight-year-old in 1953.  This is an animal story, as Benjamin Pink is a rabbit.  Much has changed in the United States since the 1950s, and this story is a look at how it all might have affected the subsequent life of Benjamin Pink.

Looking back now, eight years after writing it, I see a common thread of themes and outlook with my more recent novels.  At least I’m consistent.

This satirical, yet touching, story is available for Kindle on Amazon.com.  So spring for $0.99, help support a starving author, and enjoy!  (Full disclosure:  This story is NOT for children; there are two instances of strong language.)

Third Wind: A Novel

by Roger Gloss

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 1, 2014)

NOW AVAILABLE on Amazon.com and in the CreateSpace eStore!

ThirdWindCoverThird Wind represents for me the culmination of an exciting four-year effort.  After publishing my first novel in 2009, I set out in my second effort to stretch my capabilities and further develop my talents as a serious writer.  With Third Wind I had several significant goals:  (1) confront head-on, in a very serious way, the themes of climate change and a dysfunctional federal government that no longer serves its citizens; (2) research and write intelligently about wind energy, a subject in which I had no prior experience; and (3) weave these “big picture” themes into a captivating story rich with believable, memorable characters.

When confronting controversial issues, there is always the risk of getting preachy or turning off readers who might not agree.  I have tried to avoid that by weaving the themes into the plot and characters.  As always, I found the creative process quite cathartic; I write, after all, because I have stuff to say.

From this moment on it is for readers to decide whether I’ve succeeded in my goals.  I invite you to plunge into Third Wind, and I’m confident you’ll find the experience worthwhile.

Purchase Third Wind on Amazon.com or in the CreateSpace eStore.  The novel is available both in trade paperback and for Kindle.

Compared to What: A Novel

by Roger Gloss

BookSurge Publishing (August 7, 2009)

ComparedToWhatCoverImageCompared to What is a contemporary novel set in Riverside, California.  It features a rich array of characters from diverse backgrounds:  most notably an information technology professional down on his luck, the female owner of a small coffeehouse, and a retired U.S. Congressman.  All three struggle to cope with the challenges of modern American life.  The story is filled with warmth and drama, including more than a few twists and turns.  Deeper themes lie beneath the story, and these themes have profound impact on the novel’s outcome.

I am quite proud of my first novel, and I welcome feedback from readers.

Purchase Compared to What on Amazon.com.  The novel is available both in trade paperback and for Kindle.