Ron Sauder, publisher

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The Eastern Shore’s Best Literary Friend: Ron Sauder’s Secant Publishing


While very few people know his name or his publishing company, Ron Sauder is gradually becoming the Eastern Shore’s literary best friend. From his small home office overlooking the Wicomico River, Sauder has not only committed himself to resurrecting the legacies of Chesapeake writers like Chestertown’s Gilbert Byron but also some of the Shore’s best contemporary authors through the recent establishment of Secant Publishing in Salisbury.

A native of Virginia, with a degree in English from the College of William and Mary, Ron had aspirations to become a writer after graduation, but very quickly found himself in leadership communications positions at Johns Hopkins and Emory University. In fact, it was only after his wife agreed to join the faculty at University of Maryland – Eastern Shore that Sauder found the opportunity to break away from higher education to follow his dream of starting a book publishing business focused on the literature and writers of his beloved Eastern Shore.

Perhaps even more impressive is the success story Secant has had since Sauder started his press. Over the last few years, Secant’s books, from the reprinting of Byron’s The Lord’s Oysters and Mission Boy to the best-selling to The Crab Cookbook by Whitey Schmidt, have met with remarkable commercial popularity. And the same hold true for his most current authors, like Easton’s Bill Peak’s award-winning The Oblate’s Confession and his most recent publication of Talbot County Librarian Karen Huston Karydes’s Hard-Boiled Anxiety, a psycho-literary analysis of “hard-boiled” detective novels in the 20th Century.

The Spy sat down with Ron to talk about his second life as publisher and his particular affection for Eastern Shore Writers.

This video is approximately six minutes in length 





About Dave Wheelan

Letters to Editor

    1. Thank you for airing this delightful video interview with Ron Sauder, whose work at Secant Publishing bucks the trend of disappearing small, regional publishers. Ron’s passion for producing literary and other important books is so beneficial to the regional writing community. His quest to discover the special “voices” of Delmarva authors should be celebrated across the Peninsula.


Oh for the love of Italy

Schisler whispering vines

“There’s more,” Peter said, and Alex gasped in surprise as Peter looked back down at the document. “…I also leave Alexandra one half of my family’s vineyard, Belle Uve, to be shared with my great-nephew, Nicolas Giordano.”

And so the great adventure in this young woman’s life begins. Written in the spirit of those time honored books and movies of wine growing and Italy such as A Walk in the Sun by Deborah chief or Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes, this novbel adds new depth top that wonderful concept. Alex learns wine but more thanb that she finds the truth in the Italian survival of the terror of World War Two. It’s a book not to be missed.


schisler book show

Her weekly blog is followed around the nation. Latest entry at

“In the meantime, I will let my mind drift to the other wonderful thing about fall – curling up in my favorite corner of the couch with a cup of hot tea and a good book while a fire blazes nearby.  What will you be reading this fall and winter?  A Place To Call Home is available, and every Wednesday, I will send you a thought or two about my writings and upcoming books.  Stay tuned and stay warm!”

A former librarian and teacher, she writes form the Eastern Shroe of Maryland where she lives with her husband, three daughters and two dogs. Her writing is “a verbal masterpiece of art.”


A book you can’t stop reading

gillen moments of truth

“The President (Johnson) , before I could lead him to Dr. Horn, pulled me aside to say, “Boy, you couldn’t find your ass with both hands.” This embarrassing remark was clearly heard by Dr. Horn, who up to that moment considered me to be an important person”

Oh, how those of us who have worked in government can sympathize with the author on this one.  Sometimes working with the great reminds us over and over just how un- great these people are. The book is fearless in telling just how the author experienced the times and people of that Vietnam era, reported honestly and thoughtfully. It’s a read we can’t put down as it will constantly remind us of ourselves, the mark of good literature.

You’ll want to make your own index of the pages too as you go along. Some of these comments and recollections are so juicy you’ll want ot refer back again and again.

Buy at Createspace at

neal gillen eswa

Gillen’s reputation in law and management provides a ready market for his books of which there are many. He’s a well known teacher of the art of the writing too as he assists in various workshops throughout the Maryland area. Check into the Eastern Shore Writers Association news to find his next workshop.

Frank Hopkins book signings

frank hopkins eswa


I would like to invite you to three book signings I will hold in July, where I will be signing my new collection of short stories, First Time as well as my two novels: Unplanned Choices and The Opportunity. 

Bethany Beach Books, Bethany Beach, DE

Sunday July 17, 2016 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 99 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, DE 19930

The Den, Bear Trap Dunes, Ocean View, DE

Saturday July 23, 2016 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Bear Trap Dunes, 7 Clubhouse Dr. Ocean View, DE 19970

Touch of Italy, Ocean City, MD

Sunday July 24, 2016 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Touch of Italy, Holiday Inn at 67 St. Oceanside, Ocean City, MD 21842


The book signings at Bear Trap Dunes and Touch of Italy will include three members of my RBWG Critique group. Jackson Coppley, Walt Curran and myself. Appetizers will be served at both locations. Cash bar at happy hour prices available at both locations. A summary of the author’s books is presented below. The attached PDF file replicates the book summaries, including thumbnail copies of each book cover.




Tales From Our Near Future What happens when the age of high technology encountered the human need for love? Read Jackson Coppley’s compilation of three short stories to learn the answer. Science Fiction – Anthologies


Leaving Lisa What if a device could capture everything imaginable about one person, that person dies and you could ask it anything…especially the questions you neglected to ask when alive? Jason Chamberlain’s wife, Lisa, dies and the machine, in her voice, sends him on a journey around the world to spread her ashes. Leaving Lisa is a story of loss, transformation, and new love. Literature & Fiction – Contemporary Fiction





Young Mariner is a coming of age novel circa 1966. The protagonist, William Connolly is a street smart kid from South Boston. A recent graduate of Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Connolly starts his first job as Third Mate on the cargo ship MorMacPride and runs afoul of larcenous officers, led by a nefarious captain. Young Mariner is the first of a trilogy of Connolly’s exploits. Coming of Age


Slices of Life – Cerebral spasms of the soul is a book of poems. Riding the 5:00 AM train from New Carrollton station in Washington to Penn Station in Philadelphia gave Walter many interesting characters and topics to convert into poetry. Poetry




First Time is a collection of ten short stories by Frank E Hopkins. Each story has separate characters but are linked by the theme that each story exposes the main character to the first time they experience an event participated in by all. The stories include anticipation of the happiness they expect; the dismay and wonder they feel during the event; and the surprising ending. Fiction – Short Stories


Unplanned Choices is a coming-of-age historical romantic drama, set in the late 1960s and early 1970s in the New York City area during the sexual revolution and the struggle for legalizing abortion. Crime – Coming of Age


The Opportunity is a suspenseful crime novel set in the competitive environment of Federal governmental contracting in Washington DC and the professional networking social life of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Crime, Corruption in Federal Government Contracting.


The author’s contact information:

Jackson Coppley

Walter F. Curran

Frank E. Hopkins


I hope to see you at one of my book signings.


Frank E Hopkins

From a wooden box-an epic story


“Sarah Morgan is on her side. She stretches her legs and shifts her body beneath the muscled arm circled to her stomach. The bed creaks. Except for an angle of shale-rose light pulsing across the dresser from the diner sign in front of the motel, the room is dark”wilson book

From A Taste of Salt by Harold O Wilson

 “In A Taste of Salt, Wilson has painted an unsettling picture of time: time carried in a small chest faced with an archetypal circular design and the date 1810. Its dark contents resonate across the years from the Georgia frontier to a strange diner in small town Maine in 1967. In the chest are ordinary articles that testify to unspeakable events from the past: events that refuse to resign their hold on the present. Reconciliation with the past is at the heart of Wilson’s novel: reconciliation that comes slowly and with difficulty for Wilson’s characters. And even then it comes only momentarily. The irony of Wilson’s tale is that the only character free of this struggle is a slave.” Amazon précis

wilson photo a taste of salt 20-16

Wilson ‘s writing is like a “bright blue sky with an energetic sun surrounded by white thick clouds of surprise.”You will be pleased with the literary style of this author as he tells the saga story of these characters.

And Wilson can tell us much about marketing. Join him at a book signing for A Taste of Salt  on July 9 from 10:00 to 1:00 at the News Centre of Easton. A short reading and discussion will follow as well around 11:00..





Ideas on writing a book from Frank Hopkins

Thoughts on Writing

After several years of writing I have worked out a routine that maximizes the quantity and quality of my work. I always wake up early and begin writing first drafts early in the morning, before the demands of the day interrupt my thought process. The late afternoon and evening are reserved for editing my early morning drafts.

To ensure consistency between chapters in my novels, I start with an outline and develop an annotated outline identifying scenes in each chapter or short story. I then develop a spreadsheet with the columns identifying the chapters and scenes in the chapters and the rows specifying the Setting, Location, Date/Time Period, Status, Page Length, Characters, Point of View, Scene Summary, First Sentence and Transition Phase. The spreadsheet provides an easy and consistent technique to develop a first draft and reduces writers’ block. I learned a preliminary version of this approach at a BTO conference years ago.

The spreadsheet improves productivity by allowing me to start writing scenes non-sequentially. Thus, if I think of a great idea for scene 3 in chapter 10 I can start writing it immediately, without completing the draft through scene 2 in chapter 10. Consistency is improved because by tracking the dates in each scene before I write, I do not have to perform an excruciating effort coordinating dates in editing my draft.

The spreadsheet does not prohibit creativity. When I decide to change a section of the novel while writing the first draft or editing other drafts, I can change them at the scene level and identify the impacts on other scenes and update them.

While the spreadsheet approach is invaluable in creating a first draft and in editing other drafts, I find the best way of improving writing quality is to join a critique group, composed of positive authors. I belong to three. The critique groups keep you to a schedule, provide valuable structural document advice, as well first draft editing, that is better to receive while writing your first draft, then if you are working on your third draft. I use one critique group to make suggestions on the first draft. The second critique group reviews the revised document and recommends changes to improve it, while the third group is reserved to read sections that are close to a final draft. This process provides me with input from twelve accomplished writers, rather than from one professional editor. I am convinced the critique group members will find more errors or weaknesses and recommend alternative corrections than one highly paid structural editor. I always use an independent copy editor for a last check on the book.

Frank Hopkins


frank hopkins eswa

Where were you on your first time?

hopkins first time

For those of  us who lived in this time period of the Sixties and Seventies, these stories will bring back many memories. It was a different world with much restraints on behavior between men and women.   Frank’s style is intriguing and brings you right into the personalities. A book well worth reading.

From Frank by way of explaining the stories.

While each story has separate characters they are linked by the theme that each story exposes the main character to the first time they experience an event participated in by all. The stories include anticipation of the happiness they expect; the dismay and wonder they feel during t…he event; and the surprising ending.


The collection starts with:


“Passages South” – male college students in search of excitement on a trip to Florida during spring break;


“My First Four Days in Sorrento” – romance by a mature American man, and an Italian woman, that perplexes his children;


Two college freshmen who meet and start a romance in “My First Psych Class”, taught by professors behaving strangely, who appear in need of counseling;


“My First Car” – purchased from a Mafia – connected used car salesman


“My First July 4 Rehoboth Beach Weekend” – parties and misguided fireworks;


“Steve’s First Woman” – self-explanatory;


“The Romance Life Cycle” – danger, danger do not eat yourself out of love;


“Santa Claus Stories ” – why do parents lie to their children;


“The Last Ski Trip” – two friends offer to introduce a recently divorced man to the single life at Sugarbush, VT, illustrating the validity of the theory of unforeseen consequences.


The last story, “My Trip Alone”, relates the bittersweet recollection of a widower who adjusts to his wife’s death two years earlier by revisiting their favorite fall trip to see the autumn foliage in the mountains of West Virginia.


hopkins book show 2016frank hopkins eswa