Authors I Call Friends: Andrew Seddon

Some books I've edited, translated, and/or designed in the last few years.

I've been away from blogging for a while, and this blog has moved to an independent WordPress site and back to Google's Blogger platform since I last wrote here regularly. Despite my neglect of A Catholic Reader over the past few years, I owe a lot to this blog because it helped launch me into all the other activities that have been keeping me busy: writing, editing, and translating, as well as publishing and book design.

As a way of easing back into talking about things I read, I thought I would introduce you to some of the authors I've gotten to know as friends and acquaintances (through reading, editing, or translating their stuff) through this blog. These are writers whose work I can heartily recommend to other readers.

First, I must mention Andrew Seddon, with whom I first got acquainted after he found me (I think) through the (now defunct) Catholic Blogging Network and offered to send me his first Saints Alive! collection to review. So I did, and it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship as well as a professional relationship that has allowed me to edit (and design) several of his short story collections. (The most recent one is here.) Andrew has written a few novels, but his real forte is short stories (even some of his novels read like collections of related stories). In an Andrew Seddon work, you are likely to find any one or more of the following: saints, ghosts, dogs, alien species, time travelers, and marathon runners. His novels includes space opera and time travel. He has contributed to many short story anthologies, as well as publishing collections of his own work. You can find all of his stuff on Amazon, with most of it listed on his Amazon author page.

The thing I like about Andrew's writing, besides its variety, is what unifies that variety: a very humane approach to life, even when he is writing about things strange or frightening. Without ever sounding sappy or preachy, he manages to convey both a sense of the goodness of life (of all kinds) and the perils of turning away from that goodness. To me, that's the hallmark of someone who really deserves the designation, "Catholic writer."

Seddon is English by birth and upbringing, although he came to the US with his family (with a short stint in Canada) as a teenager and later married a Swiss expatriate he met here. By profession he is a physician (his wife is a veterinarian) and by avocation a marathon runner, but for decades he has been a writer, and quite a prolific one, too. Raised as a Baptist (the English sort), he has long been a Catholic. Currently, he splits his time between Montana and Florida, and recently took his elderly parents back to England for a visit (while he and wife Olivia ran marathons all over the south of England and the channel isles). All of these bits of background inform his writing, which may explain its variety.

If you'd like to sample some of Andrew Seddon's work, I recommend his new short story collection, Bonds of Affection, which, although all the stories are about German Shepherd dogs, includes every one of those things I mentioned above: saints, ghosts, dogs, alien species, time travelers, and marathon runners.And all the profits from sale of the book will be donated to organizations that rescue German Shepherds or support K-9 dog training, so you'll also be supporting some of the author's favorite causes.

Next time, I'll introduce you to another writer, Colleen Drippé, whom I first knew as a friend-of-a-friend through Andrew Seddon. Meanwhile, if you've read any of Seddon's writing, please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

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