Till the Streetlights Came On is a ‘coming-of-age’ novel, based on my experiences growing up in the 50s and early 60s. The story is humorous and dangerous, yet not without weight. I wanted to bring out the culture of the times – that and spiritual consequence to add dimension to all these crackbrained schemes we did as kids.
Tell us something about yourself.
I am an army retired counter-intelligence analyst and Korean linguist, presently employed teaching skills to soldiers in the field and abroad. I am a storyteller from my childhood, which tales are captured here. My spiritual wanderings, from Buddhism to Secular Humanism, culminated in a Christian conversion imbued with appreciation for Christian philosophy. My hometown is Monrovia California, the setting of this story, but currently reside in Lampasas, Tx, with my artist wife, Cassie.
What inspired you to write this book?
The stories in this book are as old as I am – I’ve been harangued by friends and family to put them into a book for years. As time went on I realized that I lived in a golden age. This time before video games and shopping malls, where chores were plentiful and toys were simple, where we played from dawn to dusk in backyards and vacant lots – they just don’t happen anymore. Kids don’t roam the neighborhoods – certainly you never see 15 kids building underground tunnels in a vacant lot. Yet a lot of character development happened in those fields. The story needed to be told.
How did you choose the title?
It’s an expression any baby-boomer is familiar with – it sums up the era, and the spirit of how we grew up. We literally played ‘till the streetlights came on.’
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
It’s like breathing for me. I’ve been writing for years, and have boxes of material. I simply never tried to publish anything before. It’s easy to get so busy making a living you don’t make the time to tackle what you really want to do.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I have a sequel in the works, and I am so happy that I survived childhood so I can tell it. The current one covers my years before High School. The next one will be my teen years.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Write what matters to you and stick to your own style of humor and wit – it’s what makes your story unique. Also develop characters that are real – and do it through the action of the story, not by description. A visual picture of a character encountering life situations makes them much more identifiable.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Babyboomers and young adults – (10 and up)
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
My website is http://tillthestreetlightscameon.tatepublishing.net
I am also on facebook. You can get a good feel for the book on there. I get lots of feedback. Just type in Stephen Langdon’s till the streetlights came on.
I can also be found at any major online bookstore, i.e. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders.