Part of my role as mayor is meeting interesting people. One such person is Dan Mayland who has lived in the old Williams house (one of the oldest houses in Lansdale) on White’s Road since 2000 with his wife, Corinne and two children. I recently discovered that Dan is a published author whose book, The Colonel’s Mistake, reached the number one spot on Amazon.com’s spy-thriller genre in September 2012 in the U.S. Even more impressive is that three months later it made it to number one in Germany and Britain. In addition, his second book, The Leveling, came out this month. As someone who enjoys reading and has taken a few unsuccessful stabs at writing himself, I was impressed by this accomplishment. And like a news reporter who likes to showcase local talent, I felt obliged to introduce Dan and his book to Lansdale.
His books take place in a little known area of the world which include the countries Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Iran. What I learned after reading these two books is that this region, which is rich in natural gas and other resources, is a hotbed for major players such China, Russia and Iran to exert their influence over these commodities that power our cars and heat our homes. Of course, there is also the role played by the United States’ interesting and complicated relationship with each of them. Dan Mayland skillfully integrates these issues while making the story relevant through its characters and story line.
In order to make his stories believable, Dan has traveled extensively throughout the region as well as having performed exhaustive research on the cultures, history and background of the countries and organizations involved in his books– almost like a modern day Lawrence of Arabia. I think many of us are fascinated by someone who makes his or her living through art in one way or another. Writing well is an art form as is hitting a 95 mile per hour fast ball as is playing Rachmaninoff’s Third piano concerto. It is through these art forms that communities, nations and civilizations are measured and evaluated. And while no less important, many of us in Lansdale and the region work in utilitarian positions at Merck, Univest, Szekely Chiropractic, SEPTA or Molly Maguires. Fortunately for us, it is through the craft of those artists that we are able to escape our daily routines for a few hours in a book, at a baseball park or at a concert.
Therefore, I invite you to take a look at Dan Mayland’s website, http://www.danmayland.com/, and if you’re into spy-thrillers try The Colonel’s Mistake or The Leveling knowing that it was written by a Lansdale resident about a world away.
Dan Mayland at his desk at his home on White’s Road in Lansdale.