The Genesis of Steven Vandorol

The Genesis of Steven Vandorol

Who is Steven Vandorol? This post will answer that question to begin the Steven Vandorol Saga.

Steven Vandorol is a fictitious character in El Paso Sunrise, a Novel, that was published on September 24, 2019, by Morgan James Publishing (New York–London–Nashville–Vancouver-Melbourne), then became and is now available worldwide through Ingram Publishing Service, Morgan James Publishing’s exclusive distribution partner!!

About El Paso Sunrise, a Novel

“Kill him,” the hushed gravelly, almost hoarse voice said on the speaker to the four assassins slouched around the rough-hewn oak table, three of them sipping Stolichnaya vodka straight, while the fourth drank hot tea. They were the cream of the Russian and Muslim terrorist assassination squad infiltrating America and Canada and were on the way to El Paso to kill lawyer Steven Vandorol.

Steven was leading the Texas prosecution of Federal government corruption with national implications before the fall presidential election. So begins my powerful new thriller, El Paso Sunrise, a Novel, that rivets the reader’s immediate attention right into the start of a Second American Civil War.

As all my readers now well know, El Paso Sunrise is an explosive psychological and most timely political thriller, where the main character, Steven Vandorol, a lawyer in El Paso, Texas, is being hunted by a team of terrorist assassins and shadowy sinister forces determined to kill Steven, who was just appointed as special prosecutor in a government border and immigration corruption and conspiracy case with national implications before the fall presidential election.

But it’s more than just that!  It’s also a totally entertaining roller coaster ride of thrilling suspense and fast-paced action…and a story of desperate personal survival that ultimately becomes a grand and timeless story of personal transformation, passion, great love, friendship, and intimacy!

It also begins a grand story of love, passion, intense hate, violence, and horror all brought keenly alive against the panorama of the radical transformation of America by radical, insidious and cancerous forces – forces that threaten to annihilate and destroy the very fabric of the American Dream and way of life of our beloved Constitutional Republic.

El Paso Sunrise, a Novel, is the first of two stand-alone novels that together tell a story of the intentional radical transformation of America in a Second American Civil War by progressives, Muslim radicals, and the American Left from a Constitutional Republic to a Marxist Socialist dictatorship.

It is also a portrayal of a future with the literal choking of Canada, Great Britain, Europe, and the Middle East, particularly the sovereign State of Israel by Islamist radicals, ISIL, Hezbollah, Hamas and the spreading cancerous malignancy of a worldwide Muslim Caliphate.

Steven Vandorol had it all but lost everything when he fell hard from grace in the ultra-rich Sunbelt. Escaping to Washington. D.C., he found himself embroiled in evil, corruption, sexual obsession and addiction but, confronting his own demons, found peace and serenity in El Paso. But not for long…

The Saga Continues: El Paso Sunset, a Novel

Then the Steven Vandorol saga continues in El Paso Sunset, a Novel, to be published in the Fall of 2020, where stunning Vanessa Carson, Steven’s attorney friend and confidant amid the evil and total corruption of Washington, D.C. brings her sunshine smile back into his life in El Paso and together as one, face their worst nightmares of rape, kidnapping, and murder during the ultimate crises of a second American Civil war started by dark, shadowy and powerful forces and only Steven and Vanessa stand in their way.

While El Paso Sunrise is a graphic story of abject evil in this world, it is also a timeless love story and about goodness, faith, grace, and friendships blossoming during a national emergency – a clarion call to the world to remember what truly matters, asking the question: Can Steven force his own country and government to face their own demons before it is too late?

On a deeper level El Paso Sunrise and its continuation, El Paso Sunset, tells a story of the excruciating pain of escapism and addiction, crisis and survival and the final triumph of faith, grace, love, and commitment. As a story of complex emotions, vulnerability and tenderness, intimacy and feeling, it draws darkly profound conclusions that are astonishing and provocative, yet exhilaratingly joyous.

While the two novels are primarily a timeless love story, much of the factual background for the novels is from Steve Emerson’s The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), especially the use of the indictment and the Federal conspiracy prosecution and proceedings in the 2014 case Federal District court case in Texas that resulted in Hamas, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other terror organizations including the Muslim Brotherhood, being placed on the State Department’s list of active terrorist organizations.

Finally, the two novels together depict the cancerous and insidious corruption of government, education, religion, the family and culture in America by a variety of bad actors, fueled by a corrupt, fawning, propaganda “fake” news mainstream media, that subverted all that was good and turned into abject evil…and also most timely depicts the crumbling and addictive American culture and society, both in America and in this chaotic, turbulent, corrupt and evil world that professes a religion of selfishness, lust, power, control, and greed. All of which is slowly killing America and would continue in the rest of the world unabated until the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In this post, I want my readers to know Steven Vandorol and understand…

The Genesis of the Steven Vandorol Chronicle

So, who is Steven Vandorol? We now know that he is the main character in my book, El Paso Sunrise. We also know that he is an El Paso lawyer who hasn’t been in El Paso all that long, yet has just been appointed Special Prosecutor in a criminal prosecution with national implications…

Okay, that’s what he is right now, but where did he come from?

The Genesis of the Steven Vandorol Saga, and where Steven Vandorol came from originally, was my first book, SUNBELT, a Novel, published in 1986 by Quadrangle Press, Inc. (Washington, D. C.- Florida – Texas – Oklahoma).

Reading from the first page of that book:

“Sunbelt is a story of money and power, passion and obsession, ambition and greed, love and hate, good and evil, temptation and frenzy of a dangerous yet erotic game, brought keenly alive and set against the panorama of brilliant riches of energy and real estate during euphoric boom times in the Sunbelt.

It is also a story of searing pain of the fall from grace in a devastating crisis, of survival, ultimate choice and purpose, and triumph of the human spirit. Steven Vandorol was the best and the Sunbelt was his gameboard. Lawyer, Chief Executive Officer, millionaire, and leader were his roles. Banks, real estate, airlines, and the law were his playing pieces. Money, power and passion were the objects of his game.

People were the pawns. As a story of complex emotions, of tenderness and vulnerability, and of feeling and falling, it draws darkly profound conclusions that are both astonishing and provocative.”

So, 34 years ago, Steven Vandorol wasn’t a real nice guy! It sounds like he was all full of himself and had a lot of hubris! It also sounds like, one moment, he was on top of the world, and the next he had fallen from Grace, then found himself, survived a devastating crisis, and triumphed…in that book, anyway! That’s how that sounds like to me, the book’s author!

Steven Vandorol Personalized

Now let me personalize Steven Vandorol for you. To do that, I need to tell you a little bit about the author of Sunbelt! Me, Louis Josef Bodnar…

About Louis Bodnar, Author

By the way, although I’m a naturalized American Citizen, I was born in Vilshofen, Germany, of Hungarian parents, as they fled from Budapest, Hungary, ahead of the Russian invasion at the tail end of World War II. But that’s a story for another day.

I Just told you this, only to let you know that I’m 100% of Hungarian blood and ancestry and ‘Vandorol’ is the Hungarian word for “wanderer.” The ‘Steven’ comes from my 5-year older brother, Steven. Thus, the fictitious main character of Sunbelt, a Novel by Louis Bodnar, Steven Vandorol!

In my lifetime, I’ve “wandered” all over the world! And ended up right here in Tulsa, Oklahoma!

Let’s get back to Steven Vandorol and his “wandering” all the way out to the largest Texas/Mexico border city of El Paso…

Back in the early eighties, I was practicing law in Oklahoma City, which I had been doing since graduating from law school at Oklahoma University College of Law in 1972. I guess that pretty well dates me – yes, I’m an old guy, as my son-in-law, Andrew never fails to remind me! I had been practicing law there for about 18 years, so I should have known better and made some smarter choices, but I didn’t do either!! I’m what one might call a beneficiary of the Oklahoma oil and real estate booms and a casualty of the Bust!

When Oklahoma City’s, Penn Square Bank, was declared insolvent by the Feds and closed, on the 5th of July, 1982, that bank went down in flames, taking 5 of the largest banks in the United States with it, starting a chain reaction that ultimately led to the late 80’s recession – the worst economic crises in America since the Great Depression of the 1930’s!!

Author Louis BodnarI was on top of the world in Oklahoma City, had my own law firm, represented almost 30 Oklahoma and Southwest banks, was CEO of a venture capital holding company that even owned a Florida intrastate airline, did the largest real estate transaction in downtown Oklahoma City to that time – the 250 million project, Leadership Square, and was living large, as they, whoever they are, always say, one moment, and then, the next moment, it was all over.

I went Bankrupt, got divorced, and my law practice flamed out as well! I couldn’t financially take care of my two kids, both then teenagers. So, I left Oklahoma and got a job where I was still employable, with a Washington, D.C., K Street, real estate firm, Wilkes, Ardis, Hedrick & Lane, and would come back to Oklahoma City, a weekend every month, to visit my kids.

After my Oklahoma City riches to rags, I started a journal to try to make sense of my downfall. At the tail end of the worst times, when everything was falling down around my ears, and to prevent having a nervous breakdown, I got on an Amtrak train and took a 10-day trip across the northern United States, ending in Seattle, and then back to Oklahoma – a trip that saved my life!

I rested, wrote in my journal and slept a lot! But it renewed me! That’s when I got the job in
Washington, D.C. and left Oklahoma City. I practiced law in Washington, D.C. for about 3 years, went to Georgetown Law Center in the evenings, where I worked on my LLM in International Law, and, most important, got some counseling to try to get my head screwed back on right again!

Louis Bodnar’s First Novel, Sunbelt

It was in DC that I realized that my journal, besides being a part of my therapy, had quite a story in it as well. That’s when I started, Sunbelt, a Novel! With that journal being its basis, writing in longhand on legal pads, in my spare time, with my secretary typing, also in her spare time on weekends, until the manuscript draft was finished. It took a couple of years, working full time, writing whenever I could in my spare time! I would go running at Rock Creek Park in DC and found an old Civil War Cemetery, where I would go for solitude and to write.

In Washington, D.C. I finished the manuscript! That’s when my luck turned for the better, at least I thought at the time that it was luck. But it wasn’t luck at all. I didn’t know it then, but it was Grace, the Lord’s unmerited gift to children, puppy dogs, and good people!

Through a client of that firm, a small eastern publisher of mainly school textbooks, agreed to look at my manuscript of Sunbelt, a Novel. Much to my surprise, it was accepted for publication.

By that time, I had grown totally disenchanted, both with the practice of law and with Washington, D.C. and all its sleaze and corruption, sex, drugs, power, and money, felt isolated and out of my element, and was missing my kids. So, when my friend and lawyer in Oklahoma City said he needed my help with all the litigation that I was involved in back home, I jumped at that chance to return home to Oklahoma.

Publishing Sunbelt, a Novel

I hung out my shingle, as lawyers say, started a solo law practice that provided us just enough for us to get by. I was in Oklahoma City when Sunbelt, a Novel was published regionally in the Southwestern United States! It was another lifesaver! The book and my solo practice supported us for a couple of years. Struggling financially practicing law, I then became interim CEO of a metro Oklahoma City bank, which is another interesting story for another time as well.

Anyway, I wanted to get back into law but realized that it wasn’t going to be in Oklahoma City. After completion of my Bankruptcy and divorce, I contacted a lawyer friend in El Paso, Texas, that I had worked some cases with back in the better days, moved to El Paso, Texas, and went Of Counsel with his law firm in Downtown El Paso.

The Next Book: Layers of Evil

In El Paso, I took a real deep breath! And relaxed, which I hadn’t done in a  really long time! Again, as I had done before, began another novel, I called this my second effort “Layers of Evil.” Sometimes writing in longhand, sometimes dictating, and my secretary typing, another manuscript started to develop. The main character of “Layers of Evil” was, you guessed it, Steven Vandorol!

In the blink of an eye, 15 years passed. Then, September 11th, 2001, happened when almost 3,000 Americans died as a result of four hijacked airliners, 25,000 of our fellow American were injured, two airliners destroyed the twin towers World Trade Center in New York City, which were the two tallest skyscrapers in the world, the third slammed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., while the fourth was downed in a Pennsylvania field …when brave passengers retook the plane from the hijackers with the now famous saying, “Let’s roll!” – the well-known saying by an American hero, Todd Beamer…God rest his soul!

“North Anderson paused, solemn and closed his eyes for a moment, opened again, and looked up then said, ‘”God Bless them all…may they all rest in peace…” North paused again, wiped his eyes and continued, “The September 11, 2001, attack was carried out by 19 Muslim men in their twenties and thirties…'”.”  (Excerpt from El Paso Sunset, a Novel by Louis Bodnar, to be published worldwide in fall 2020 by Morgan James Publishing.)

For various reasons, 9/11 being just one, I left El Paso, and relocated to Dallas, where I went to work with a downtown Dallas law firm. I wandered around in Dallas, moved around to a couple of firms, a title company, and in 2007 retired from a law firm in north Dallas and returned to Oklahoma to be with family, in Tulsa.

I was back in Oklahoma, and this time to stay! I’m just guessing, but I think I was becoming a nuisance to my family in my “retirement.” At my sweet daughter’s urging, I got my Oklahoma teacher’s certificate, got into education, teaching at Glenpool High School, which is still my day job to this day! Enough about me!

All this time, I continued to work on the manuscript of Layers of Evil – crappy title, by the way, as no one could understand what I meant by that title – until I finally finished the manuscript. That’s when I went to a writer’s workshop in New York City, called ThrillerFest, taking the manuscript with me. At ThrillerFest, I really learned a lot about writing and about being a writer, met some great writers, including Lee Child, David Baldachi and especially David Morrell, of Rambo fame, and made some good writer friends.

Layers of Evil, on the other hand, got only a lukewarm reception at best! As my dear wife and very perceptive editor said when she read the manuscript, “It had way too much blah, blah, blah…in it!” In the now, I totally agree with her.

Layers of Evil Renamed El Paso, a Novel

I did get David Morrell’s book, The Successful Novelist, personally signed and inscribed with a warm fuzzy sentiment! Undaunted, I came back to Tulsa, began to totally rewrite “Layers of Evil.” The new title of the rewritten manuscript was El Paso, a Novel. That was 2013! Then, on May 27th, five years ago, everything changed!

And I’ll go through this fast, because my wife, Joan, cries easily and often, especially when it’s about us, kids, dogs or any animals. She even had a pet spider that webbed in an outside window, she called Esmeralda. She cried when one morning Esmeralda was gone! In that great movie with Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin, The Edge, where they’re being terrorized by this monster grizzly bear, she cried for the bear when they killed it!

Seriously, on May 27th five years ago, I met Joan! From that time on, it has been continuous labor of love, for me personally, for Joan and I together in our marriage, and working together on El Paso, a Novel, which Layers of Evil had morphed into! Me, the writer, and Joan, my editor. I’ve said to Joan before – El Paso, the Novel, has been my escape, my therapy and now is our intimacy and our passion!

Publishing El Paso, a Novel

Louis J. BodnarVery briefly, I told you that the rewritten manuscript of “Layers of Evil” was now titled, El Paso, A Novel, remember? So why are there now two novels, El Paso Sunrise, launched and published in September 2019, and El Paso Sunset, which will be published in the fall of 2020? Well, I’ll tell you…

My publishing contract with Morgan James is for a manuscript of El Paso, a Novel! That original manuscript was a monster with 987 pages in 67 chapters and 161,447 words! That’s when Joan and I went to work, me writing and Joan editing! The first result? The manuscript was down to 125,000 + words!

Still too long, Morgan James Publishing has a publishing limit of 100,000 words for each
book! So, voila…two books, El Paso Sunrise and El Paso Sunset! I’ll not bore you with all the work we did to get right here, right now! But I’ve just signed another contract for the publishing of El Paso Sunset, a Novel to go worldwide in the Fall of 2020!!

Very, very, briefly, a very brief word(s) about publishing industry in the current internet and digital revolution world of today, with its instant gratification and communication at blazing virtual speed, is totally different then it was 34 years ago when I first published Sunbelt, a Novel!

Then, all I, the author, had to do was show up at book signings at Walden Books or B Dalton’s, etc., go on media/newspaper interviews and get royalty checks!

Now, with Amazon and giant worldwide chains like Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and the dying print media, the author has primary responsibility for publicizing, promoting AND marketing his book, especially in regional markets like Oklahoma and middle America!

The publishers help, of course, but it’s their exclusive distributors, like Ingram, that do the major work of publicity, promotion, and distribution to the bookstores worldwide!

Why Do Writers Write?

So, to wrap this post up, why do we writers write in the first place? My friend, David Morrell, in his book, says, “Write what you know. The best stories choose us. We don’t choose them.” I think the type of stories we tell also chooses us!

There’s a story about Stephen King – When he was asked by a literary critic, rather aloof and patronizing, asked him why he writes horror, his response was, “What makes you think I have a choice?”.

Also, quoting, “We writers understand the world by how we retrieve memories, reorder information and tell stories to justify how we feel!” That’s Ernest Hemingway, I think, and I agree with him completely. Ken Foster, writer/editor, said, “The best writers reveal something about themselves that a smarter person would choose to hide.”

“Don’t be afraid of giving yourself away, for if you write, you must! And if
you can’t face that, better not write!” (Emphasis added) Katherine Anne Porter,
Author Novelist – 1958)

One last thing, the story happens in El Paso, celebrates El Paso and was written by me, mostly in El Paso, all the while I was living and practicing law there from 1987 to 2002. Although I’m an “Okie” at heart and an Oklahoma native, I love El Paso and the people in the El Paso/Ciudad Juarez border area, and still have many friends, colleagues, and contacts that I accumulated there during the almost 15 years I lived there!

I hope that El Paso Sunrise, the novel, already available worldwide, and the continuation novel, El Paso Sunset, will be the same for El Paso, the city, just like Marty Robbins’ song, El Paso, was in the late 50s!

Learn More About Louis Bodnar

Thank you for reading this post and all my blah, blah, blah. You can find more of my blog posts here as well as subscribe to my website, and buy El Paso Sunrise, a Novel, today and El Paso Sunset, a Novel, available this Fall, 2020!

El Paso Sunset, a Novel by Louis Bodnar will be launched and published in all book stores worldwide, right there in El Paso, Texas, where Joan and I have a date in the Fall!!!!

God Bless you all, my readers, friends, and family. Thank you!

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