Lillian Longendorfer completes second sci-fi novel, 'The Battle for the Sword of Bale'

Milford. “My books try to show communities that can co-exist,” says Longendorfer, a writer who spent her life in medicine. “With of all that’s going on in the world today, I hope that someday we can all co-exist peacefully.”

23 Oct 2019 | 07:35

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.

The press release for the books gives this synopsis:
Drs. Stan and Elsa Mercer learn that the peaceful coexistence of the human and the primitive populations of the Quad Consortium is threatened when Tokal announces his intention to retire as president of the Grand Council. Despite Stan's innate impulse to avoid becoming involved in any sort of political conflict, they felt obliged to return to Bale when their friend Tokal asked for their help in keeping the Sword of Bale from getting into the hands of those who would use its power to gain control of the Consortium.
As they attempt to save the Sword of Bale, they realize that they must deal not only with an ambitious and callous government official but also with his prior nemesis, Nathan Taylor, the former president of the Grand Council who has escaped from life imprisonment on the distant red-dwarf-star planet, Planet 1251. Nathan, who had previously experienced the power of the Sword of Bale, is determined to possess it, no matter the cost. At the same time, Stan and Elsa must protect Tokal and his daughter, Roval, from Tokal's own son, Naril, who believes he is the rightful heir of the Sword of Bale and its power, and who is willing to kill to attain it.
The author did not have a lifelong desire to write science fiction. “I’ve been a fan all my life; I’ve always read science fiction,” she said. She’s a fan of Isaac Asimov; Arthur C. Clarke; Gene Wolfe and Lawrence C. Connolly. “I decided I’d give it a shot, so I ended up taking a creative writing course and a course in novel writing,” she said. She also belonged to writers’ groups when she first came to Milford in 1998. Those experiences, along with Longendorfer’s native talent as a writer, really paid off.
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"_