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Mythological story paints portrait of couple’s fight for love

Mark Seinfelt revisits the time-proven formula of girl and boy forever desiring – but never achieving – the culmination of their love in “Baldr and Beatrice”
PHILIPSBURG, Pa. – Mark Seinfelt analyzes the psychology of friendship and love, and why things seldom – if ever – turn out as we expect in the material or fallen world in his novel, “Baldr and Beatrice” (ISBN 1453847308). This tears-through-chuckles tale of thwarted lovers will hook fans of mythological classics like “The Hobbit.”
Seinfelt’s story of lovers parted by severing time warps follows a pair who, prior to their incarnations on earth, decide to participate in God’s creation by having children together –something that can happen only in the sublunary world. But much to Baldr and Beatrice’s dismay, a spiteful shadow-being diverts Baldr’s unborn spirit from medieval Germany, the site of his intended birth, to Indian America, where he is adopted by the Ho-Chunk god, Red Horn.
Beatrice remains in Europe with her Pagan grandmother, Oma, and summons Baldr’s spirit to her across space and time. For a period, Beatrice, as flesh and blood, and Baldr, as solely spirit, lead a peaceful existence. But Oma separates the pair and sends Baldr back to Indian America. There he returns to human form in all respects but one: he casts no shadow.
Trouble follows Baldr, and Red Horn soon realizes the ensuing conflict between the Indians and the newly arriving white settlers or “ghosts” has everything to do with Baldr’s separation from Beatrice. Red Horn sends his adopted son’s soul into the future, where he is born as Richard Mercer, and falls in love with a descendant of Beatrice.
Al Galasso of the North American Book Dealers Exchange says, “Award-winning author Mark Seinfelt has taken his descriptive talents to an unusual new work, ‘Baldr and Beatrice.’ It takes readers on a time machine into the human psyche.”
“Baldr and Beatrice” exemplifies fantasy by combining wit, imagination and history. Lovers of the genre will find themselves relating to the human nature of friendship through these two young lovers and their battle to be together against higher powers.
“Baldr and Beatrice” is available for sale online at and other channels.
About the Author: Mark Seinfelt holds degrees from Pennsylvania State University and Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied under critically acclaimed authors William H. Gass, Paul West and Robert C.S. Downs. At Penn State, he received the Henry Sams Memorial Award for his thesis. Seinfelt’s study of famous author suicides, “Final Drafts,” was selected as an alternative selection of the Readers’ Subscription Book Club. His novel “Henry Boulanger of Mushannon Town” won the 2010 North American Bookdealers Exchange (NABE) Pinnacle Book Achievement Award in the historical fiction category. He is also the author of “Symphonie Fantastique,” a collection of novellas.
Henry Sams Memorial Award

Seinfelt chosen to get award
Indiana Evening Gazette, July 6, 1983
Mark Eric Seinfelt, a 1980 graduate of Indiana Senior High School, has been chosen to receive the Henry Sams Memorial Award of 1983, Honors in English, for his thesis in creative composition "The Mozart Machine: An Excerpt."
This award is presented annually by the English Department at Pennsylvania State University to one graduate in the University Scholar Honors Program who is judged by the English faculty to have submitted the best thesis in creative composition.
Having completed his thesis within the spring 1983 deadline, Seinfelt was assured he would receive Honors Degree certification on his graduation diploma. To achieve honors certification the University Scholar must write a thesis in either critical analysis or creative composition.
Seinfelt accelerated at Penn State, completing his studies in three years instead of the customary four.
While at Penn State Seinfelt was an assistant editor in 1981 and chief editor in 1982 and 1983 of the English Department student literary magazine, "Kalliope." In 1981 he received the Federal Republic of Germany Award for being the best student in German in the general studies program at Penn State.
Seinfelt also represented Indiana Senior High School at the Governors School in the summer of 1979 at Bucknell University where he also was enrolled in creative writing.
He is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Fred Seinfelt of Shadowood.
Symphonie Fantastique

New fiction collection tells sophisticated ghost stories 
Symphonie Fantastique, by Mark Seinfelt, tells tales of obsessed and troubled characters haunted by paths not taken or explored in life, former lovers, deceased family members, strangers, dark spirits and war 
PHILIPSBURG, Pa.—Symphonie Fantastique, a new collection of fiction by Mark Seinfelt, shares with its readers four short novels, two short stories and an essay that are written around the common theme of the paranormal and a haunted protagonist.  
Seinfelt was inspired by French Romantic composer Hector Berlioz who, according to Seinfelt, is best known for his composition “Symphonie Fantastique” and believed in the necessity of tying a musical composition to a literary idea. The author explains how this musical inspiration is evident in not only the title of his collection, but also in the individual chapters— “At Last the Distinguished Thing”, “Steiglitz’s Folly”, “The Mozart Machine”, “Intrusive Voices” and “Wagnerian Elements in Thomas Mann’s Joseph Tetralogy.”  
As a student of writer and poet Paul West and American novelist William H. Gass, Seinfelt claims his stories were influenced by their works and introduces multi-faceted characters that span the 20th century. From an elderly Henry James doubting his life’s work to an agoraphobiac haunted by his dead father while watching the Gulf War coverage on his television, all of Symphonie Fantastique’s characters are haunted by dark secrets that transform their lives.  
Symphonie Fantastique is available for sale online at,, and through additional wholesale and retail channels worldwide. 

Final Drafts

Philipsburg man to have book published next month
THE PROGRESS, Clearfield, Curwensville, Philipsburg, Moshannon Valley, Pa., Tuesday, September 21,1999
By Rebecca Williams Staff Writer PHILIPSBURG
 After years of persistence and hard work, the labors of a Philipsburg man are  finally paying off with the publication of his first book in October. Mark Seinfelt,  known for his efforts in preserving the Simler House, oldest dwelling in  Philipsburg, and grandson of J. Clair Simler, curator emeritus of the Philipsburg  Historical Foundation, is crowing about his first book deal. "I've been working on  this particular book for about four years," Mr. Seinfelt said in a recent interview.  The book is called "Final Drafts: Suicides of World- Famous Authors", a work that  examines in-depth the lives of 25 authors who killed themselves between 1894  and 1991. It isn't Mr. Seinfelt's first writing attempt; he has authored a work that  fictionalizes an account of the Simler history dealing with connections to French  General Lafayette during the Revolutionary War.
"It's much harder to get fiction published," Mr. Seinfelt said. "I looked at non-fiction topics, and think I found one that hadn't been dealt with and for which there was a need." It took a while to write the book, considering other projects in which Mr. Seinfelt was involved. He said he spent quite a bit of time contacting the families of those mentioned in the book for permission to use material. He sold the book, got an agent, and now there may be some interest in his fiction work as well. "Final Drafts" reads like a history book, and Mr. Seinfelt said there are individual chapters on 25 authors, then there are two other chapters in the book, one on seven possible suicides, and another on 24 other possibles. The most famous suicides dealt with in the book include Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath.
Other lesser known writers include Constance F. Woolson, grand-niece of James Fenimore Cooper and protégeé of Henry James; émigré Austrian writer Stefan Zweig and John Kennedy Toole. Some others noted in the book are Ambrose Bierce, William Inge, Randall Jarrell, T.E. Lawrence, Jack London, Anne Sexton and Sara Teasdale. "I can see this book being used as a reference," Mr. Seinfelt said. According to information found in the liner notes for the book, authors have always been susceptible to the suicidal impulse; and the act has fueled the literary art. Since the nineteenth century, for whatever reason, a significant wave of author suicides have occurred, according to the liner notes. Even some authors who did not kill themselves outright, might have engaged in behavior so reckless and self destructive as to be construed as psychological suicides.
Mr. Seinfelt said 2,000 advance copies have already been sold and that the book will be available in all 50 states, and at major book sellers in the area. He has degrees in English literature and writing from Penn State and Washington University in St. Louis, where he received his Master's degree.
Henry Boulanger of Mushannon Town

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award
Henry Boulanger of Mushannon Town was selected as a semifinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition. (read more)
Author Pens Historical Fiction Novel Stressing the Importance of Freedom
and Patriotism
Henry Boulanger of Mushannon Town by Mark Seinfelt is a story about a man’s expedition
into the Pennsylvania wilderness to found the town of Mushannon
Henry Boulanger of Mushannon Town, a new book by novelist Mark Seinfelt, tells the tale of Revolutionary war soldier, Henry Boulanger, and the great efforts he underwent to see his frontier settlement prosper into a small provincial town. In Seinfelt’s story, Henry Boulanger, who prior to coming to the United States was a travelling shoemaker in Germany and France, is recruited to supervise a mission to establish Mushannon. Although classified as fiction, the hero of Henry Boulanger of Mushannon Town is modeled after the author’s great-great-great-great grandfather, John Henry Simler, a Parisian shoemaker, an American Revolution soldier, and one of the first settlers of the town of Philipsburg, Pa. in 1797.
According to Seinfelt, in these hard and uncertain times, Americans need to look back at their roots and become reacquainted with the ideals of the founding fathers and the struggle for independence of our first citizens. As he has documented in his manuscript, the author intends for readers to receive the message that freedom is worth pursuing at all costs. Seinfelt wrote Henry Boulanger of Mushannon Town as a fresh approach to examining the meaning of patriotism with an emphasis on ancestral sacrifices. He intends it to be an entertaining read for anyone, especially those who enjoy historical and literary fiction. For more information or to request a free review copy, members of the press can contact the author at Henry Boulanger of Mushannon Town is available for sale online at,, and through additional wholesale and retail channels worldwide.
Take a tour through Philipsburg history via DVD
THE PROGRESS, Clearfield, Curwensville, Philipsburg, Moshannon Valley, Pa., Friday, December 8, 2006
By Jane Elling
"Our Heritage Philipsburg Historical Foundation with Clair Simler" is the name of the DVD that will be available at Wednesday's annual Christmas party/open house from 2-4 p.m. at the Philipsburg Historical Foundation rooms at 203 North Front St. in the Moshannon Building. It is open to the public, and there is no charge. The late Clair Simler was in his 94th year when he retired from his volunteer work at the foundation rooms in 2000. He had been the curator from when the foundation was established 50 years ago and then became curator emeritus. Margie Marshall took over the duties of curator in the mid 1990s, according to Mark Seinfelt, who talked about his grandfather in a recent interview. He said Mr. Simler knew much about his hometown, the community that his ancestors settled.
The Simler house, the oldest structure remaining in Philipsburg, was built of hewn logs by John Henry Simler, an ancestor of Mr. Simler, Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Seinfelt and several other local residents. He said there was no one else who knew the details about the 10,000 pieces of memorabilia in the museum like Mr. Simler did and who could tell the story of what they were and where they came from. He remembered the donors and the stories behind them. "Clair was a great storyteller and really had a wealth of knowledge," he said. So in 1998, Mr. Seinfelt, Mrs. Marshall and Frank Williams went through the foundation rooms with Mr. Simler, asking questions while Gary Barnett of Philipsburg from "Capture the Moment" videotaped them. The DVD has been edited down to 3 1/2 hours. The project didn't begin with intentions to make it public, but the realization soon came that this is something that would be of value to anyone interested in Philipsburg.
Mr. Seinfelt said, "many people can remember going on tours with Clair and these DVDs are just like Clair is still giving tours, and he is preserving the history of the town he loved so much. He wanted everyone to love history." Maybe you have memories of Mr. Simler. I remember going to the foundation rooms many times to ask questions of him and Mrs. Marshall. He would tell me the tale of an historic event or happening and then give me the information and sometimes a photograph I needed for a column. His grandson said, "This is Clair's legacy and a gift to the community and people he loved. He tried to personalize history and tell a story." The DVDs will be available at the foundation rooms, at the Main Street Christmas Store, 201 Front St., or by mail at P.O. Box 8, Philipsburg PA 16866. Mr. Seinfelt said the board has recently received a $50,000 grant through the efforts of state Rep. Lynn Herman, R-77 of Philipsburg. Tentative plans are to perhaps build the lean-to back on the Simler House or they may try to expand into another room in the museum, but their main focus will be the cataloging of all the historic items.
Award-winning Sci-Fi Writer James Morrow to Appear on Word Patriots

Author of eleven novels including the acclaimed The Godhead Trilogy: Towing Jehovah, Blameless in Abaddon, and The Eternal Footman to appear September 12 on new show about literature available at
CHICAGO, Il / PRBuzz / September 8, 2011 - - James Morrow is a wry and trenchant satirist in the tradition of Swift, Voltaire, Heller and Vonnegut. The Denver Post has hailed him as Christianity's Salman Rushdie, only funnier and more sacrilegious.
He has won Nebula and World Fantasy Awards and been nominated for both the Hugo and Locus Fantasy Awards. He is also author of the historical novel The Last Witchfinder (2006) which he sees "as a qualified defense of the 18th-century Enlightenment" and Shambling Towards Hiroshima (2009), a parable of the dawn of the nuclear era which also celebrates the halcyon pleasures of monster movies.
Morrow will guest on the September 12 edition of Word Patriots, a weekly show about the joy of reading that features authors discussing books that range from period literature to futuristic science fiction. Previous guests on the show include Diane Ackerman, Robert C.S. Downs and Elisabeth Rose. This scintillating and candid interview gives insight to one of American's foremost writers in the science fiction genre.
About Word Patriots Produced for those with a love of reading, Word Patriots is hosted by Mark Seinfelt. Seinfelt's own Final Drafts is a study of famous author suicides and was chosen as an alternate selection of the Readers' Subscription Book Club in 2004. Each week the program highlights authors who have made a major contribution to contemporary fiction.
The show Word Patriots is distributed by WebTalk Radio, which is home to more than 100 shows ranging in topics from business and entrepeneurship to holistic health and outdoor activities. is a property of Chicago-based talkradio syndication firm, Matrix Media, Inc. Producers of Animal Planet Radio, HGTV Design Minutes and the NBA Radio Network. To learn more about WebTalk Radio visit their Web site For additional information please contact Mary Lou Davidson at

Novelist and philosopher William H. Gass to Appear on Word Patriots

CHICAGO, Il / / November 17, 2011 - - If anyone in America is still writing today as if the world were well lost for art, that person is William Gass. In 1995 he published The Tunnel, a book he spent 30 years writing, and which many consider his masterpiece, and one of the finest American novels of recent times. He has recently completed a new novel Middle C, which grew out of a novella that escaped its cage and ran away. It is about a music teacher in a small college who has got his position with dishonest documents and kept his position by his wits and the dim wits of his colleagues. Gass is equally important as a critic and his theory of fiction manifests itself in both his criticism and his fiction. His seven volumes of essays include Habitations of the Word, Finding a Form and Tests of Time, all of which earned him National Book Critics Circle Awards for Criticism. He has received numerous other awards as well. His Reading Rilke: Reflections on the Problems of Translation received the PEN/American Nabokov Award and his most recent volumeA Temple of Texts(2006) won the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism. Gass will guest and read from Middle C on the November 21 edition of Word Patriots, a weekly show about the joy of reading that features authors discussing books that range from period literature to futuristic science fiction. Previous guests include Diane Ackerman, Tawni O'Dell and James Morrow. The Word Patriots show is hosted by author Mark Seinfelt, whose study of famous author suicides Final Drafts was selected as an alternate selection of the Readers' Subscription Book Club in 2004 and whose novel Henry Boulanger of Mushannon Town won the 2010 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award in the Historical Fiction category. Word Patriots is distributed by WebTalk Radio, which is home to more than 100 shows ranging in topics from business and entrepreneurship to holistic health and outdoor activities. To learn more about WebTalk Radio visit their Web site
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