Recently our web editor, Trisha Ping, blogged about the fact that it was Tesla’s birthday and asked if anyone had other Tesla spottings in literature. Synchronicity strikes again, since I happened to be reading a chapter in J.G. Sandom’s The God Machine (Google books preview here) that featured Tesla. I posted a comment that led to an email note of appreciation from the author, J.G. Sandom.
Since his page-turning, historical thriller had provided me with insight into the lives of Ben Franklin, Edison, Tesla and the much-maligned Judas—as well as several hours of reading enjoyment—I wanted to know when to expect the sequel to The God Machine.
But after a brief foray on the net, I learned I don’t have to wait for my next Sandom fix because a prequel, Gospel Truths, was published in 1992 and has been favorably compared to The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure.
If that book is anything like the one I just finished, I definitely concur. Sandom has a knack for combining legendary gospels, ancient secrets, star-crossed lovers and Masonic puzzles to create a simmering stew of conspiracy, intrigue and danger that keeps the plot pot boiling until the very end.
When asked what he’s working on now, Sandom said, “In between trying to make a living—I’m a single dad with an 8-year-old daughter—I’ve been outlining two new novels. One is a book called The Plague that looks at cyber-terrorism and the role of online identities in the world of social networking sites (as yet unsold but my agent is pitching); and the other is a sequel to The God Machine.” The sequel deals with another machine that Franklin invented, the one alluded to by Koster—Sandom’s long-suffering main character—at the end his book.
Sandom is one busy fellow. He also writes YA books under the pen name T.K. Welsh. Last month, he took part in a Skype online video reading and book conference with high school kids from upstate NY and had a letter about the experience published in the School Library Journal. “It was so much fun, and the kids loved it,” Sandom said.
Let’s hope he finds time to finish those other book projects. I’m waiting!
—Karen Trotter Elley