First Views of Australia

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I’m off Science traveling in Australia and New Zealand. Besides a tour inside the venue, here is a look at the famed Sydney Opera House from a harbor cruise.

And at night.

Of course, I had to have breakfast with a koala. Say hi to Molly. I also hopped around with kangaroos, howled with dingoes, and hightailed with emus.

Sydney gave me my 46th aquarium and Cairns gave me my 47th.

Then it was a sail out to the Great Barrier Reef and some snorkeling with the fishes and corals. I also hiked in the Blue Mountains.

I even made a new friend. This is Wuru.

So much more to show you. I’ve moved on to New Zealand and its amazing mountain scenery. More photos soon.

Win a Free Copy of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America

Lincoln: The Man Who Saved AmericaYou can now win a free copy of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America on Goodreads. I’ll even sign it for you!

Entering is simple. Go to the Goodreads page, scroll down to the “Win a Copy of this Book” section, and click on the “Enter Giveaway” button.

I plan to do a series of Giveaways, so be sure to select:


Doing so will automatically let you know when the next Giveaway has started.
The current Giveaway ends on August 6th.
Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s life, from his meager beginnings on frontier farms in Kentucky, through his early years in New Salem and as a rising politician and lawyer, all the way to the White House and the Civil War. You can get a preview of the book here.
Available on the Barnes and Noble website as both a hardcover and Nook book. Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America should be in Barnes and Noble stores nationwide shortly. I’m also selling signed copies on this website here: Buy The Books, where you can also buy my earlier books on Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, plus my two e-books.
So head to the Goodreads page, scroll down to the “Win a Copy of this Book” section, and click on the “Enter Giveaway” button. Don’t forget to check “Also add this book to my to-read shelf” so you’ll be notified when the next Giveaway starts.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

David J. Kent is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, scheduled for release July 31, 2017. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

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[Daily Post]

The Year in a Writer’s Life – 2016

The WriterAfter writing hundreds of thousands of words it is safe to say that 2016 was a productive year. To recap the highlights:

As I write this I’m doing the final citations on Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America for Fall River Press of Sterling Publishing. The book will be released in late July of 2017. The opportunity to write the book came about through a combination of luck and the success of my previous books. My Sterling editor approached my literary agent with an idea: because Tesla and Edison were doing well, the publisher wanted to start a similar series on historical figures. First up was Alexander Hamilton (the Broadway musical has everyone all atwitter about this otherwise little-known early politician) and Abraham Lincoln. Did my agent know anyone who might be interested?

Given that I had already provided my agent with an early draft of a proposal for a Lincoln-related book, she immediately contacted me. After convincing my editor that my lifetime of independent Lincoln studies showed I knew as much (and more) about Lincoln than I did about Tesla/Edison. I got the project. Look for it next summer. Here is an early version of the prologue to give you a flavor.

Of course, I also had a book come out in stores this year. As noted in last year’s update, my big writing project last year was Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (again for Fall River/Sterling). The book was released officially in late July 2016, though to be honest, it wasn’t put on display until months later because of Barnes and Noble’s bizarre promotion of “adult coloring books.” Now that it finally is being displayed its sales are doing well.

Meanwhile, Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity is into its 7th printing and has been translated into several languages. The book continues to be a huge success.

Phew. That’s already a rather busy writing year, but to this I added hundreds of blog posts on Science Traveler, Hot White Snow, and The Dake Page, not to mention way too much time writing long discussions about climate change on sites such as Facebook.

But wait, there’s more. I also contributed to the CPRC newsletter (science) and began a recurring book review column in the Lincolnian, the quarterly newsletter of the Lincoln Group of DC. During the year I also gave a short presentation on the group’s “Looking for Lincoln in Illinois” trip.

Oh, and somehow I found time to read 107 books, 27 of which were related to Abraham Lincoln and from which I took copious notes.

So by anyone’s standards this was a busy writing year. I also had a busy year traveling, which I summarized in my year-end “Year in Science Traveling” post.

And 2017 looks like it will be more of the same.

David J. Kent is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His next book is on Abraham Lincoln, due out in 2017.

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Photo Credit: Ru Sun

[Daily Post]

 

A Little Bit of Science Traveling in Scotland

Several years ago I had the privilege of living and working in Scotland for three months. I was based in Edinburgh but made several trips out into the Scottish countryside. Here are some of the highlights.

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Edinburgh is best known for its castle, and for good reason. The wonderful old fortress overlooks the city from its perch on a high volcanic rock precipice. Dating back to the 12th century (ironically, from the reign of David I), the castle is the home of the annual military tattoo each August, in which parades of Scottish regiments, replete with pipes and drums, wow the crowds. When I was there a certain Edinburgh resident, J.K. Rowling, used the castle as a place to sign her newest Harry Potter book (written in many of Edinburgh’s cafes). The line stretched out the castle entrance and down the entire Royal Mile.

August is also the year of Edinburgh’s annual Fringe festival, which fills the city with over 50,000 performances of over 3,300 shows in over 300 venues. I was there in summer and got to experience the wackiness of the Fringe first hand. It is not to be missed.

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh, Scotland

The city sits among seven hills, including Castle Rock (where the castle stands), Calton Hill, and Arthur’s Seat, the name of the latter of which may (or may not) have been derived from the legends of King Arthur.

But there is more to Scotland than Edinburgh. Hopping into my summer rental car, and making sure to drive clockwise around roundabouts (since they drive on the left side of the road in all the UK), I headed north towards the Isle of Skye. Along the way I passed the amazing Pap of Glencoe:

Pap of Glencoe, Loch Leven, Scotland

The five sisters…

Five Sisters, Scotland

Black Mount at Loch Tulla

Black Mount, Loch Tulla, Scotland

And the Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle

Of course, you can also drive east from Edinburgh along the coast, where you’ll see Bass Rock, home to thousands of gannets.

Bass Rock, Scotland

Back in Edinburgh the weather is turning raw, a common occurrence in the Scottish fall. So joining up with my colleagues, we relax in the exclusive private rooms of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society to try out some single malts, from the light delicacy of Glen Spey to the full-bodied smokiness of Laphroaig. Aaaah.

David J. Kent is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His next book is on Abraham Lincoln, due out in 2017.

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Science Traveling – Traveling Science

Continuing on my science traveling tour. After Paris I was in London for a week.

Arrived home one night and next morning flew to Salt Lake City where the view from the plane was gorgeous.

First night here and my name and picture were blazoned on two huge screens as I picked up an award. [Actually, it turns out I won a second recognition I hadn’t known about before.]

A few days here, then back home to recover and catch up.

A Closer Look at the Eiffel Tower

While I enjoyed an all-too-short stay in Paris this past weekend, this was the view from the street outside my hotel.

So I decided to get a closer look…

A nearly full moon was being cooperative…to a point.

The next night the same moon was posing with the Big Ben (and the clock tower that everyone assumes is Big Ben). I’ll have that photo and much more after I sort through photos.

Ships Abound in Oslo

I’m still science traveling in Scandinavia, but here’s a few photos of something that’s a big deal here in Oslo – ships! This old sailing ship is used as a tourist boat when it’s not showing the contrast with the modern Opera House in the background. You can walk all over the roof of the latter, which goes all the way to the water and a cool glass sculpture floating in the fjord like a sailing ship in its own right.

But all the cool ships are on a separate spit of land best reached by a water taxi.

Which gets us to a series of small museums highlighting several Viking ships, the Kon Tiki, and the Fram. The Fram is an old (1890s) wooden ship taken into the Arctic, and later, the Antarctic. It’s a fascinating story I’ll have more on later. Here’s the Fram.

But my favorite was the Kon Tiki. Thor Heyerdahl sailed this balsa wood raft from Peru to Tahiti in 1947. I read about it many years ago. Even cooler, I was surprised to see that the museum also had the Ra, a papyrus boat he built in Egypt and sailed from Morocco to Barbados in 1969. I’ll definitely be writing more about these later as they are true science traveling.

[Note: This was from a trip in May 2015]

David J. Kent is an avid science traveler and the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His next book, Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, is scheduled for release in summer 2017.

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Writer’s Retreat

I’m mostly off the grid this week in my own version of a writer’s retreat in my home town. So far it’s been incredibly productive – my new book on Thomas Edison is taking shape.

I did find these stocks used by town officials to punish distracted writers.

But I’ve also found inspiration in the local wilds.

And found sustenance in the local food houses.

And checked out my old haunts. And I mean really old haunts.

Okay, it’s back to work Finished a chapter yesterday so scoping out the next tonight. Gotta keep the momentum moving forward.

Rounding Up the Writing Life

Finally getting a chance to write on Science Traveler for the first time since Monday’s update on the Scandinavia trip plans. That trip is for the end of May, but before that a lot is happening. Much of it is writing. And the rest of it is doing interesting things worth writing about.

Current warsCurrent writing projects are headlined by my forthcoming book on Thomas Edison. The publishers of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity asked that do a similar treatment of Tesla’s biggest rival. I’m working on the early chapters and finding that Edison, like Tesla, was an interesting personality, though in a few ways almost the opposite of each other. Surprisingly, Edison wasn’t as great a businessman as most people think. The irony is that while others often got credit for the contributions of Tesla, Edison often got credit for the contributions of others. Publication is scheduled for 2016 but I’ll post more on this here as the writing progresses.

My concurrent e-book writing project is called Lincoln and Tesla: Connected by Fate. There are a surprising number of connections between Nikola Tesla and our 16th President, and this book takes a look at all of them. Stay tuned for more info and expected publication on Amazon this summer. Here’s a preview.

Other writing includes a forthcoming piece called And the War Ends I wrote for the Smithsonian Civil War Studies website. This will be the third article for them and covers the end of the war and Lincoln’s assassination. This week has also seen a “microfiction” experiment called Executing One Final Joke on Hot White Snow and How the Media Enable Climate Denial and Misinform the Public on The Dake Page. Oh, and there is the Lincoln and Science book proposal.

I also have tons of events on my calendar that will keep me busy for a while (as if writing two books and a proposal for a third wasn’t enough to do).

  • March 21: Lincoln Institute full day symposium in Ford’s Theatre
  • March 22: Wine-tasting and bald eagle viewing on the eastern shore
  • April 9: Tesla Spirit Awards in Philadelphia
  • April 11: Lincoln Group book discussion
  • April 14-15: Ford’s Theatre events related to Lincoln assassination
  • April 21: Lincoln Group dinner meeting
  • April 24: CPRC-SETAC Annual Spring meeting
  • May 16: Lincoln Group Legacy of Lincoln full day symposium

And that’s just for starters.

Somewhere within this time frame I should be receiving my first advance payment for the Edison book and my spring royalties for the Tesla book. The Tesla Wizard book is back in Barnes and Noble stores and selling fast while the Tesla and Renewable Energy e-book is available on Amazon. On top of that, yesterday I shipped a second case of 24 books to the Tesla Science Foundation for them to give as gifts to teachers who have worked so hard to get Nikola Tesla incorporated into school curricula.

It’s a good life.

David J. Kent has been a scientist for over thirty years, is an avid science traveler, and an independent Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and the e-book Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time.

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