• Angell Caudill

Member Spotlight: Steve Lindahl


Member Spotlight: Steve Lindahl

By Angell Caudill

In 1928, Steve Lindahl’s grandfather bought a summerhouse on an island in the middle of Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, far enough from New York City for his family to escape stifling pre-air conditioned city summers. Now, nearly ninety years later, generations of cousins still summer on the unique property. And, although two additional cottages have been added to accommodate expanding families, evening meals continue to be communal affairs converging in an open air pavilion where more often than not, dessert includes stories of the surrounding area and tales of its pre-European inhabitants – the Lenape Peoples. As Steve was growing up, chances were stories and other “artsy” pieces written by his Mom were part of an evening’s repertoire.

With this history as a backdrop and his own diligent research, it is not surprising that Steve’s novel, Hopatcong Vision Quest, draws from both Lenape legends and personal experiences. In this newest work, characters Diane, Ryan, and Martha, with the help of a hypnotist, look into their hidden memories, hoping to use past life experiences to solve the murders of two people they loved. The trail to the justice they seek runs through a life they shared hundreds of years earlier, in a Native American village.

Though each of Steve’s novels published since 2004 is a stand-alone piece, as opposed to a series, they do share a very interesting common thread. Each plot centers on past life experiences of the characters. To “get into character” for these stories, Steve and his wife Toni visited Winston-Salem physician and shamanic healer Sandra Phocas. Sandra specializes in past life experience regression hypnosis and analysis and Steve describes memories of his session as passing through a mirror and then looking down at his own feet shod in old leather moccasin type shoes . . . .

Winston-Salem Writers member Steve Lindahl has been a dedicated writer since he was a teenager. In the eighth grade he was paired with classmate Jim Washington and given the daunting assignment of writing a full length play. He believed Jim a much better writer than himself. Whether or not that was the case is buried history, however with the competitive spirit only known to teenage boys, Steve set out to be a better writer himself. In college, this goal turned into a BA and MA in Theatre Arts and also meeting his artist wife, Toni (for Toni’s amazing work see www.tonilindahl.com).

As his and Toni’s family grew, the vagaries of theatre life gave way to necessity and Steve segued training in set design into a career in the then emerging field of Computer Assisted Design or CAD. For almost forty years while he was working his “day job”, Steve retired each evening by 9:00 only to wake and write for 2-3 hours, then return to sleep until the morning alarm. In retirement now, Steve continues to keep a disciplined schedule, writing twice a day – a morning and late afternoon session, two or three hours each. Walt Disney once said, “The difference in winning and losing is often not quitting.” Steve has lost touch with eighth grade rival Jim Washington; but it would seem he has certainly become a better writer and created a writing life to which writers everywhere might aspire!

Currently, Steve Lindahl sits on the Board of Directors for Winston-Salem Writers, is serving his second year as editor in chief for WSW anthology, Flying South, and is a longtime member of a strong fiction critique group. For links to his publications, including his new audiobook, go to www.amazon.com and enter his name in the search bar. Thank you Steve for never quitting!

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