Lillian Longendorfer, DO, spent a lifetime in the service of medicine, retiring in 2015 after 14 years at Wayne Memorial Hospital as the Medical Director of Laboratory Services. But she had already embarked on her next career as a novelist.
While still at Wayne, she had started her first science-fiction/fantasy book, “The Quad Consortium and The Sword of Bale,” writing in the evenings after work.
In the story, Bale, one of four planets in the Quad Consortium, is the setting of a struggle for power and dominance. Longendorfer introduces her readers to Bale's varied cast of characters and races. The book examines their strengths and weaknesses in a tale of intrigue, mystery, and love.
Longendorfer, a Milford resident, has completed her second novel, “The Battle for the Sword of Bale,” a sequel to the first one.
“I put the characters into a place which in the end gives them meaning and satisfaction,” she said.
Published by Covenant Books of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, “The Battle for the Sword of Bale,” portrays an epic conflict between good and evil that decides the fate of existence and illustrates character, empathy and cooperation in the face of greed and callousness.
One inspiration was her mother-in-law, Mildred Selke, a radio station manager, interviewer and writer.
“She wrote fantasy stories for my son when he was growing up,” Longendorfer said. “And I thought that would be fun to do.”
Longendorfer grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she later worked as a professor and pathologist.
“Osteopathy is a great philosophy and a great way to treat patients," she said.
She had a family practice for eight years in north Philadelphia, then completed a residency in pathology and laboratory medicine at Cherry Hill Medical Center.
“Pathology is an excellent path for women," she said. "It gives you a way to have a family, as well as a professional life."
Does daily writing present any difficulties?
“I just determine it's time to sit down and write and I do it,” she said.
She does report that she is often asked to expand parts of her books. “Because of my science background I tend to be a little concise, but I’m learning," she said.
Longendorfer’s husband, John, is a fantasy artist and owner of Golden Fish Art Gallery on Broad Street in Milford. Their son Edwin is also a fantasy artist and a freelance pin stripe artist who specializes in motorcycles.
“My books try to show communities that can co-exist,” Longendorfer said. “They still have to fight all of man’s stuff -- greed and power grabbing. Because of the way I set up the human and primitive communities, I look for those to coexist in a very peaceful manner. With all that’s going on in the world today, I hope that someday we can all co-exist peacefully.”
Readers may purchase 'The Battle for the Sword of Bale' at bookstores everywhere, or online at the Apple iTunes store, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.
It was not until she finally returned home and had retired for the night, comfortably wrapped in her blanket, that she allowed herself to think about what she had sensed when she encountered Naril earlier. It wasn’t that she didn’t feel Naril was up to something; she did. Something greater was going to happen, larger than the issue of Naril and his ascendancy to tribal leadership. It was something that could endanger not only Tokal but also the planets of the Consortium. It was something she could do nothing about, at least not until sometime in the future. “But what? But when?” she wondered aloud." (Excerpt from “The Battle for the Sword of Bale"_