After nearly 30 years of working in newspapers, in everything from selling ads and bookkeeping to reporting and publishing, Lee Henschel wanted to try a different kind of writing.
Henschel, a 1978 Southwest State University graduate, recently had his first novel, "Knight Sky," published.
Henschel is the publisher of the Blair Press newspaper in Blair, Wis. He had worked for the Redwood Gazette for 10-1/2 years.
Henschel said that writing "Knight Sky" was not a case of a decision he made one day.
"About four to five years ago I got an overwhelming desire to sit down and start writing it," Henschel said. Henschel, who is a Christian, said he felt as if it was God that was calling him to write the novel. "It just kept coming to me. I didn't know when I started writing it, how it would end."
He worked on the novel in his spare time between running the Blair Press and work at home. It took about four years to complete, he said, and he finished the last chapter this past winter.
"It wasn't like a steady work," he said.
Henschel said "Knight Sky is about a young man who is in a branch of the military, the Space Knights.
"They're police basically," he said.
The book starts out with seven ships being diverted to a planet in mid-flight, Henschel said, with the central base being sector Z7.
"When they arrive at the sector, they discover that the marine base on the hub as been destroyed and no one is answering the hails of the ships," Henschel said.
It is discovered that most of the people on the hub have been taken away, Henschel said, and that there is a plot against Earth.
Although the central character in "Knight Sky" is a Christian, Henschel said it is not a religious book.
Then came the time to look for a publisher. Henschel found Avid Readers Publishing Group as he was looking for a company that wasn't expensive and could do all the things he wanted it to do. His wife, Faith, has been supportive of the entire process, he said, and the book is available through Amazon in paperback and e-book form and on the Blair Press website at www.blairpress.com.
Henschel said he is currently at work on a sequel to "Knight Sky." it has the same characters.
"But it's a completely different storytaking it at a different level," he said.
Henschel is not sure when his next novel will come out.
"It just depends on how much work I have to do at my job and at home," he said.