Denton Salle is the pen name of a professional scientist. He has a Ph.D. in Chemistry, an MBA, and a few other degrees. In his professional capacity, he has over two hundred publications and presentations, including a best-selling technical book. He’s worked in oil and gas, polymers, aerospace, instrumentation, academia, and consulting. He has taught a wide range of classes, from graduate classes to industrial training. To separate his fiction writing from his professional life, he adopted the pen name Denton Salle. And I had the opportunity to interview him.


Tamara Wilhite: What influenced your writing?

Denton Salle: In some places, it was the fact that the history I was taught – most of which we get from the British – did not match the truth. We are seeing this now in several books on the Eastern Roman Empire that contradicts Edward Gibbons, author of the famous “History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”.

Tamara Wilhite: What else?

Denton Salle: We see it in some translated stuff on the Moorish Oppression in Spain, the Myth of Andalusian Paradise. It’s been going on for a while. Even Charles Williams wrote about the distortions of the Spanish Inquisition. Then there’s what people do to martial arts, metalwork, and some other crafts in fiction. So rather than scream at books and throw them at the dogs, I started writing.

Tamara Wilhite: Is that what led to your novel “Daemonic Mechanical Artifacts: A Tale of Napoleon’s Genies”?

Denton Salle: Kinda of.  France’s never recovered from the Battle of the Nile. What if that didn’t happen? What if the French won?  Then it became: how could they? It, like Waterloo, was a near thing. So supposed France didn’t kill its scientists in the Terror. And off we go.

Tamara Wilhite: Can you tell me about that steampunk novel?

Denton Salle:  Set years after the destruction of the British fleet by airships at the Battle of the Nile, France is winning and the man responsible for the steampunk science that causes that was kidnapped. His assistants, a young Swiss master-at-arms, and the mathematician daughter of the most beautiful woman in France, try to find him. There’s airships, golem robots, sword fights, female aircrews (less mass to move), and a helping of romance.  It is the Scarlet Pimpernel meets Jules Verne and Dumas. That’s a quote from a beta reader.

Tamara Wilhite: Will there be a sequel to it?

Denton Salle:  I have a sequel set in New France as well as a prequel. I already have a couple of short stories in the same world done that may be out soon.

Tamara Wilhite: I know you have a short story coming out in “Planetary Anthology Series: Sol”, currently slated for November, 2020. Can you tell us about your contributions to that sci-fi anthology?

Denton Salle: It’s based on a discussion about psychoactive drugs and sanity. What are your actions if you are, in Pratchett’s words, knurded? It means to be so sober as to have no illusions left. And there is an evil no one else sees.

Tamara Wilhite: Where else have you had short stories published?

Denton Salle: I have one story in the Impossible Hope anthology edited by AM Freeman about a genetic vampire. I have a story coming out in Jagi Wright’s and Chris Nuttall’s Magical Schools anthology. It deals with paying for the Deep School, Satan’s school of magic, according to Wellman.  It’s a bit dark.

Tamara Wilhite: I know about Chris Nuttall’s work. I reviewed his novel “The Zero Blessing”. What are you working on now?

Denton Salle: I have a couple of collections of stories coming out. A Genetic Vampire is about a man with a genetic predisposition for it.  Girls Night Out contains several stories about women in a Texas town haunted by Slavic myths. I’m working on a novel and another short story collection in the same world.  There’s another novel about Rus Vikings in Tang China in a world where magic works. I’m kinda like a panda. I bounce around as I work.

Tamara Wilhite: You said you’ve done martial arts from childhood and taught savate, a Chinese martial art. That is in addition to being in medieval recreation groups. You’re probably unique for being able to actually apply that knowledge. Thank you for speaking with me.

Denton Salle: Thank you for taking the time to visit.