Well, it’s been a long drawn out process. The novel is finally coming out and is available now on Amazon. I’m going to set-up a free period for anyone who wants to read it. So look for that post coming up.
I just wanted to say that this novel has an interesting and odd genesis. I came up with the idea in 1998 and started writing it toward the end of 1999. The first draft was finished in 2000. While I was reading it to my writers’ group I had the distinct feeling that despite it being the best thing I had written it would take a very long time to come to publication. At the time my fellow writer’s made comments like, “Wow, this is so imaginative!” or “How do you think this stuff up?” Truth is it was more like a series of visions and logical extensions. Many of the things from inventions (like the ipad or tablet which was originally called an enotebook came out about 10 years later) to the further corruption of our democracy, the widening of the rich with the rest of us, the environmental impacts of climate change – all will read to you as if I wrote them in the past year or so. The book also deals with religious extremism.
Never has there been a time when this book could have been more prescient then it is now.
When I first wrote it I tried to put it aside. In fact I did for many years. It seemed too far ahead. The ideas ungraspable and maybe even more than a little dangerous. I was actually afraid of putting this book out – especially during the years just following 9/11 when it felt like we closed ranks and no longer wanted to look in the mirror at our own culture but rather find an enemy to annihilate.
It was at the writers’ groups insistence that I continue to polish the book – continue to write it. For years I set it aside and worked on other things – always with a push from the four lovely women who came weekly to critic, support and aid one another. As the years turned they started to call me and leave messages like, “I can’t stop thinking about your book. It’s as if it’s all coming true.” This would light a fire under me to edit again – fix some funky transitions, etc.
In 2007 I took it to the SDSU Writers’ Conference. I submitted part of it to an editor for evaluation and won an award for the book. The speech given that day was about how everyone who had won this award was on their way to being published and to huge publishing success. I knew I would be the exception. Maybe someday but not anytime soon.
This book asks us to question everything we take for granted. It calls upon our deepest western mythologies, looks at the spiderwebs lurking inside our broken democracy, our broken paradigms and lays out a dark road for those of us who do not want to see this forthcoming future. But it does also offer hope and solutions and a new paradigm as an alternative. This book is more layered then a Jackson Pollock painting and some of those layers are for the reader to explore and not the author to lay out.
Despite all the seriousness that is at the heart of this book I also wanted it to be enjoyable. So far I have yet to have someone read it who didn’t find it engaging. My editor (who is not easy to please) told me she “loved it,” and couldn’t wait for the next one. I don’t know if there is a next one, but OK. And those of you who read it here before it’s final edit were very kind.
It’s always felt like the book I was born to write. And like everything else about me it was our of synch with time until now.
My best to all of you!
The book is called, “Trees for the Forest” I will put a link up soon when it’s free on Amazon!