I’m pleased to have been selected to the South Dakota Humanities Council’s Speaker Series. To see how to have me appear in South Dakota please reference http://sdhumanities.org. If you would like me to appear in Minnesota, please contact me directly.
I have prepared several presentations for the program but can customize to fit the audience.
“History and Storytelling – The Creation of the Historical Fiction Novel”
Linstrom presents the process of creating his historical fiction novels The Last Ram and The Murder Trial of the Last Lakota Warrior. The author of a novel depicting historical fiction has the research challenges of a historian and the entertainment challenges of a storyteller. In this program, Linstrom presents how an historical event becomes an entertaining idea and evolves from a short story, to a novella and finally to a novel. With each step there are layers of complexity that build interest for the reader. Since both the Last Ram and The Murder Trial of the Last Lakota Warrior are based in varying degrees on history, the presentation includes images to bring to life, the Badlands, Sioux Falls as The Divorce Capital of America, the history of the Audubon Bighorn Sheep, the Plenty Horses Murder Trial, the Wounded Knee battle, the history of the Lakota, politics and racism of the West and the challenges facing Lakota boys sent to Indian Schools. Linstrom shows how these historical facts are woven together to entertain readers while maintaining the integrity of history. This presentation is appropriate for people interested in the history of the West and / or in the craft of writing. It has been presented to Middle Schools, High Schools and Libraries.
“Reading with a Writer’s Eye”
Linstrom explains how to read literature to improve fiction writing. This workshop is based upon Linstrom’s Masters Degree capstone and helps the audience explore how writers learned their craft before the world of MFAs and “How To” books. Writers studied writing by reading and analyzing the masters and then discussing what they found with other writers. After setting out the philosophical approach, the audience does a hands on analysis of one aspect of “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway and “Everything that Rises Must Converge” by Flannery O’Connor. These stories which can be found online for free, provide the audience with valuable insights that can be incorporated into their own writing. The presentation includes a two page worksheet for the audience to take home to directly apply what was learned. This is a good presentation for people who are interested in creative writing. It was delivered it to the Lake Area Writer’s Network Conference and at the Bloomington Book Fair and Writers Conference. References are available.
Review from the Bloomington Book Fair: Monitor’s Comments: Audience was engaged. Top notch presentation. Authoritative presence. Necessary skill to enhance writer’s pieces.
See slide show in Literature Study with a “Writer’s Eye” tab.
“A Diplomat, a Politician, an Evangelist and a Warrior”
“The Greatest Lakota Leaders”
Linstrom identifies the differences and similarities between Spotted Tail, Red Cloud, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. This presentation is based on a non fiction book Linstrom has been researching. Important management and leadership lessons can be learned by the study of the greatest Lakota Leaders. We tend to evaluate our leaders based upon how they react in crisis situations. Four men led the Lakota Sioux Indians through the thirty five year transition from unconquered rulers of the high plains to a people totally subjugated by white America. It was the ultimate crisis. Each of the leaders was the most prominent Indian in America for a time and their every action was closely followed by politicians, military leaders and the American public. The relationships between Spotted Tail, Sitting Bull, Red Cloud and Crazy Horse were complicated and the men were sometimes allies, sometimes bitter enemies and always rivals. They had drastically different political beliefs, personalities and leadership styles, but were all focused on the preservation of the future of the Lakota people. History tends to focus on battles instead of the day to day challenges of being a leader. This is a presentation for people who love history and organizational management.