THE BIG EMPTY
LOREN C. STEFFY
Publisher: Stoney Creek Publishing Group
Date of Publication: May 25, 2021
Number of Pages: 304 pages
When Trace Malloy and Blaine Witherspoon collide on a desolate West Texas highway, their fender bender sets the tone for escalating clashes that will determine the future of the town of Conquistador.
Malloy, a ranch manager and lifelong cowboy, knows that his occupation—and his community—are dying. He wants new- millennium opportunities for his son, even though he himself failed to summon the courage to leave familiar touchstones behind.
Witherspoon, an ambitious, Lexus-driving techie, offers a solution. He moves to Conquistador to build and run a state-of-the-art semiconductor plant that will bring prestige and high-paying technology jobs to revive the town—and advance his own career.
What neither man anticipates is the power the “Big Empty” will wield over their plans. The flat, endless expanse of dusty plain is as much a character in the conflict as are the locals struggling to subsist in this timeworn backwater and the high-tech transplants hell-bent on conquering it. While Malloy grapples with the flaws of his ancestors and his growing ambivalence toward the chip plant, Witherspoon falls prey to construction snafus, corporate backstabbing, and financial fraud. As they each confront personal fears, they find themselves united in the search for their own version of purpose in a uniquely untamable Texas landscape.
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Author Loren Steffy’s Rock to Write By Playlist
Three songs are referenced in The Big Empty. One is Rollin’ By by Robert Earl Keen. Another is The River by Bruce Springsteen. And there’s a passing reference to Freewill by Rush.
I have a playlist I’ve built over the years that I use for writing, which I call “Rock to Write By.” It’s songs that are either instrumentals or that have few vocals, which I find less distracting when I’m writing. (When I’m editing, vocals are fine.)
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|CHILD IN TIME||Deep Purple|
|LA VILLA STRANIATO||Rush|
|SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND (Part I)||Pink Floyd|
|RIVIERA PARADISE||Stevie Ray Vaughn|
|RAMBLE TAMBLE||Creedence Clearwater Revival|
|LES BRERS IN A MINOR||Allman Brothers Band|
|RUDE AWAKENING #2||Creedence Clearwater Revival|
|HILLBILLIES FROM OUTERSPACE||The Vaughan Brothers|
|MOUNTAIN JAM||Allman Brothers|
|THE LOW-SPARK OF HIGH-HEELED BOYS||Traffic|
|HEART OF THE SUNRISE||Yes|
|OVERALL JUNCTION||Albert King|
|LITTLE WING||Stevie Ray Vaughn|
|MA ’TIT FILLE||Buckwheat Zydeco|
|TAKE YOUR TIME, SON||Doyle Bramhall|
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