Cover for the new novel Looking for the King by David C. Downing

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About the Author

Picture of the author, T.M. Doran

T.M. Doran, formerly an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit School of Engineering, has a Master of Science Degree from Purdue University. This book is the culmination of 25 years of exploring the history and ideologies of the 20th century, along with a lifelong passion for the mystery genre.

Born in Long Beach, California, the author has lived the great majority of his life in Michigan.

Doran is an engineer and educator and commentator in the public arena, having had hundreds of articles and letters published in local and national publications on subjects ranging from moral and ethical issues, to the interface of science and society, to environmental and public health issues, to politics. He earned the Purdue University Alumni Achievement Award for his work in the engineering profession, is a partner in the 95-year old firm of Hubbell, Roth & Clark, Inc., and has been a university professor. He and Sherry have been married for 34 years and have four children: Angela, Brendan, Elise, and Javier (their Basque son); also, three beautiful grandchildren: Zachary, Declan, and Noah.

The author has had a lifelong affection for The Lord of the Rings, not just as a rousing story but, especially, for its profound insights into human nature, human weakness, and virtue.

Toward the Gleam is the fruit of over 25 years of exploring the history, seminal lives, and ideologies of the 20th century, combined with the author's interest in the "Golden Age" of mystery story writing, when puzzle plotters like G.K. Chesterton, J.D. Carr, and Agatha Christie were plying their crafts. The story is interspersed with puzzle-plot mysteries, in part, in tribute to these writers. The story also required significant biological, geological, and geographical research, some of which is explicitly woven into the story, and historical research to give the reader a strong sense of time and place as the story moves to different locales.

Several key themes are woven into Toward the Gleam: the possibility of creative transformation, but also the freedom to reject it; the notion that science and philosophy have grown further and further apart in the past several centuries, with many now believing that they are mutually exclusive pursuits, rather than different lenses for observing the same truth; that ideas have meaning for good or ill, that they aren't just academic or intellectual exercises, that they affect people's lives in a profound way whether they realize it or not, that ideas move the world.

The last word in the story was chosen as an "antidote" to the perilous ideas that are explored in the book.