J Lenni Dorner is a great blogger, and isn’t afraid to step up and run things for the rest of us bloggers to join in. I didn’t realise, when I asked him if he’d like to guest today, that he was actually organising, or at least wrangling, the AtoZ Challenge this year. Thank you so much for taking time off to do my interview, J.
I suppose after that, I had to step up to do the guest post on the AtoZ website today! It’s L for Ludo 🙂
Man of Mystery – J Lenni Dorner…
When I first followed J, I thought he was a woman. I got through that several years ago, because he identifies as a ‘he’ when asked. But others still make that mistake. He also sometimes goes by the name Lenni-Lenape. So, J, please explain what that is about.
I am a descendant of the Lenni-Lenape tribe. (Some call us the Delaware Indians, after Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr. But some of us find that offensive.) We are also known as the Grandfathers or Ancient ones, having over 10,000 years of history. Lenni-Lenape translates to mean “Original People.”
Nearly everyone pronounces Lenape wrong (it rhymes with canapé). Our clans are the Turtle, Wolf, and Turkey. Though it’s rarely discussed, many of the laws and rules of the Lenni-Lenape people were used as inspiration for the Constitution of the United States. The tribe originally occupied most of Pennsylvania, parts of Delaware and Maryland, all of New Jersey, and parts of New York. That includes Manhattan, which we sold, though the translation was flawed as we don’t consider land something that can be owned.
The tribe was broken up by the colonists after William Penn’s death. The Walking Purchase has become more legend than fact, but it was the method used to swindle the tribe by using a trick involving twins. The Lenni-Lenape were also killed by “gifts” of pox blankets. Some of our people were sold as slaves and many shipped to Europe, where the few survivors were considered the worst slaves, and thus most were killed. Other members of the tribe were forcibly moved to the area that would become Ohio, and later to Oklahoma. A handful managed to remain on the original lands.
Being a Lenni-Lenape living on the original lands in Pennsylvania means I rarely ever encounter another person from my tribe. I’m sometimes mistaken for a Latino or Middle Eastern man, probably because people aren’t used to encountering a Native American in this area. (According to the census, in my area, 0.1% were American Indian, meaning there is slightly less than one of us for every square mile.
Thank you. I don’t know what to say, really, except that I apologise for those original colonists who thought everything ought to belong to them. Now for some more familiar sort of questions:
What sort of books do you write and who is your audience?
I write speculative fiction and reference books. My fiction audience is looking for something unexpected with influences from the myths and legends of my people.
- Fractions of Existence – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075SG1Q3K
- Lumber Of The Kuweakunks – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1015003
My reference books are for writers who are looking to bring their settings to life, or to write book reviews (the title links are to my reviews here)
- Preparing to Write Settings That Feel Like Characters – https://www.amazon.com/Preparing-Write-Settings-That-Characters-ebook/dp/B00VCIT6U4
- Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier –https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MYDYDZX.
Fractions of Existence is ON SALE right now, so my audience is also readers who like to get a deal on ebooks
What are you reading at the moment and what do you like about it?
I’m reading a children’s book called Summer of L.U.C.K.
My review is posted today (for the letter L) at Operation Awesome. Normally we’re a blog helping writers in every stage of the publication journey, but for the AtoZchallenge 2021 we are writing book reviews. The five books I selected are all from debut authors I’ve interviewed at Operation Awesome.
I want to like this book a lot more. In some ways, it’s a really great book filled with magic, and in some ways, it reminds me of Harry Potter, Mary Poppins, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I like that it’s magical, that it has some positive diversity representation, and that it’s a debut book. I would like the book a lot more if I weren’t me, and thus hadn’t lived my life and didn’t feel very triggered by some main story points. I would not give this book to a child without planning a long conversation, before and after, about never sneaking away from your caregivers to wander off into the woods after midnight because you’re being lured by music and candy. It works out okay in the story. The book has a HEA. But it took me a long time to get through the book because I was waiting for the horror twist. (There isn’t one.) I finished it because I found someone else who had read it and she assured me the kids were going to be okay. Three city children sneaking away from the adults to roam the woods at midnight, following music and the scent of candy, all survive unscathed and self-improved at the end of the book. It all works out in the book.
Hmm, I might find that difficult to read without the reassurance, too.
What’s your idea of a really nice meal?
I had the good fortune to marry a chef, so “really nice meal” automatically implies that my Snookums made it. So if I’m picking some ideal meal:
The first course would be a salad with romaine, radicchio, and arugula. Topped with baby tomatoes, garbanzo beans, La Choy Chow Mein noodles, almonds slivers, and Wos-Wit hot bacon dressing.
The second course is sushi. Eel, squid, salmon, yellowtail, shrimp, and tamago (egg).
The third course is duck breast with a blackberry reduction.
A cheese course would include Kerrygold Dubliner, Crunchmaster Multi-Grain crackers with brie and berries, Jarlsberg, and Humboldt Fog with almonds.
Then Shoofly Pie from one of those little stands in Lancaster county for dessert.
While I have eaten all of these, I’ve never had them served as a multicourse meal, so I have no idea if I’ve paired everything well or not.
I can’t help you there; I’ve only eaten the salad! (and Jarlsberg). Thanks very much for being my guest today!
And in the unlikely event of my readers not knowing where to find you, where can they find you?
Thanks very much, J, and good luck with the rest of the AtoZChallenge 2021