By Julie Wiessner
Mark Bordner was just a regular guy, doing his job with the Winslow School District maintenance crew. He and his family moved to Winslow from Phoenix about eight years ago. They really enjoyed the atmosphere in Winslow and had made plans to stay. Then it happened.
He had a stroke. He could hardly talk. But he began the long, arduous journey of recovery.
Not able to work and sitting around the house with not much to do, his wife Minerva suggested he begin putting his ideas for stories together. He had been kicking those ideas around for quite some time, long before the stroke ever happened, but he always seemed too busy with work and life to ever get anything written. This endeavor began as part of his rehabilitation after the stroke.
Seven months after the stroke, his wife took a look at his handwritten work and thought it looked pretty good. She typed up his completed rough draft.
After that, Bordner recalled, “Minerva looked around on the Internet for publishers, submitted information on the books on a Wednesday and by the following Thursday, we had three offers from Doubleday, Dorrance and Tate. We decided to go with Tate.
“I didn’t expect to get published,” said Bordner. I still can’t believe it, I’m still in shock…
“My wife and I were talking about everything that has happened since the stroke and we both agreed that the stroke seemed to be a blessing in disguise.
“When the stroke first happened, the maintenance crew helped with groceries and bills. They are a good bunch of guys who helped out when we needed help.”
Bordner has been assigned a staff of three editors, a marketing director, a publicist, an agent and a cover artist, who is creating the book covers, posters and stand-up art. All of them told him they think his stories are going to be a pretty big hit.
“I will write a book a year for the next eight years, but I am still so amazed with everything that has happened so quickly, I don’t know what to do. I just keep writing to keep my mind busy. I am working on the rough draft of the fifth book right now.
Advanced copies of The Mighty First will be available by February or March, but the official release is in May, when it will be available at Barnes and Noble, and Cosco on Kindle.
Book one’s focus is futuristic, about 100 years from now, with the setting in Winslow. Bordner explained, “The economy is floundering and there are not a lot of great options for the Winslow High School youth. A group of them decide to join the Marines so they can get the benefits of college, medical coverage and housing.
“What they don’t know about is the political maneuvering that’s been going on with our government and another group of humans recently found on a distant planet whose intentions are not for our good.
“The teens are in boot camp and have to grow up fast to come liberate us. They become our rescuers. The story is about how kids are responding, and growing and searching their own souls. The main character’s name is Minerva, my wife’s name. A lot of the characters in my book have the same first name as some of the people I know in Winslow.”
Though, Bordner is reeling from all of the excitement, he noted, “Even though it still feels like a dream right now, I know the ultimate reward for me will be when I walk into the bookstore with my kids and they see my book sitting on the shelf.”
By Julie Wiessner