New Novel Features Penn State football
What do a football player, a recurrent nightmare and the Penn State football scandal have in common? They’re all part of a newly released novel from WestBow Press. “Lion’s Awakening,” by Cindy Bingham, is the story of Landon Steele, a former Penn State linebacker, who suffers a severe injury and sees his NFL career vanish. Even after four years, his life seems empty.
This inspirational novel, set in the State College area, shows Landon’s struggle to accept his circumstances and to awaken to the plans God still has for his life.
I first heard of Bingham from a mutual friend and writer who stopped me at a writing conference and told me about the upcoming novel. The premise was intriguing. How would Bingham weave details of the scandal and upheaval of a community into a fictional tale?
Bingham has taught high school English and speech for more than 20 years. She has composed numerous school programs for speech classes and has written one inspirational musical. Both the St. David’s Writer’s Conference and the Mercer One-Day Writer’s Conference have presented her with awards.
During a phone interview, Bingham talked about writing “Lion’s Awakening.”
She said that one day she was discussing the legend of El Dorado with her students and how it had come to represent a goal.
“A student asked me what was my El Dorado,” related Cindy. “I heard myself say, 'I think I’d like to write a novel.' I had never thought of that before. A particular wild rose, that I spotted while taking a walk, was the inspiration for my first novel, but the 'Lion’s Awakening' book is the first novel I attempted to publish.”
“Sometime later, well before the events occurred in State College, I attended a teacher’s conference where a young man told his story. He had suffered an injury in football, seen his career plans end and suffered from depression. Later, in the shower, it occurred to me that the young man’s story was the basis for a novel. I plunged into it at once.”
By the time the disturbing events took place in State College, Bingham was 17 chapters into a 21-chapter novel.
“I set the story in State College. I have always been a Penn State fan. I didn’t know what to do. I was so far into the story. A friend suggested that I use the happenings and weave them into the tale. At first I thought she was crazy, but after a while, I began to see the interesting angle in that. I went back and made the adjustments,” she said.
Bingham loves diagramming sentences, reading short stories, and hearing the language spoken to encourage others and uplift God. When she is not writing or teaching, Bingham enjoys spending time with her best friend and husband, Mark. Because her children are grown and living far away, she isn’t able to spend as much time with them as she would like.
“The opportunities we do have together are always special,” said Bingham.
Bingham likes to garden and create handmade greeting cards and has Hobby Lobby and JoAnn Fabrics on her list of favorite shops.
Via e-mail, Bingham said that God has given her a wonderful family, great friends and the blessing of a relationship with Him.
Bingham will make an appearance on Nov. 2 at Meet the Author Day at the Public Library for Union County, 255 Reitz Blvd. In Lewisburg. She will also appear on Nov. 12 at Schlow Centre Region Library, 211 S. Allen St. in State College.
“Lion's Awakening” is available through WestBow Press or at Amazon.com. A signed copy can also be purchased online by clicking HERE.