Sunday, January 3, 2010

Yesterday was a pivotal day. I rec'd the emails from Phil and Deb at All Things That Matter Press informing me that the cover and galley proofs of my novel, Shaman Circus, were ready. I don't know why, but instead of just being excited - I was also nervous with the realization that this is really happening. My first novel is being published.
I've been involved in the publishing industry for more than 25 years - in the newspaper, magazine and small press worlds. I don't get bummed when I receive a rejection, don't jump up and down doing the happy dance when I see my byline, and don't exclaim with wonder when I receive payment for a writing or publishing effort.
But this was so different. I was no longer the old school writer, slightly jaded, I guess, compared to all the young authors I work with on a daily basis. I was no longer the old hat, been there, done that person.
I felt as green and unnerved as any newbie - which as uncomfortable as it is, I realize its the way it should be. One should constantly push their comfort zones. And having a novel published for the first time - the first completed novel after four attempts over 29 years - is the dream I've had since I saw my first poem published in a 4th grade newsletter.
Shaman Circus will be available soon in trade paperback, Kindle and e-book formats from the ATTM Press website,  and from  I'll let you know as soon as I know a date. 
First I must go over the galley proof... but in the meantime, I offer a sneak peek at the cover of Shaman Circus, cover art by the magical Steve Viner of the United Kingdom and cover design by Deb Harris. I am such a lucky writer to have so many brilliant experts helping me see my dream become a reality!

Shaman Circus Summary: In New Orleans following Katrina all bets are of; all masks dissolved. “Don’t forget the sham in shaman,” Jacob Laguerre lies to his new apprentice, Alex Hampton. When Alex, a twenty-eight year-old anthropology professor goes on field-study to post-Katrina New Orleans, he enters a chaotic and altered landscape where he’s psychologically, physically and spiritually challenged by the sarcastic mentoring of the mulatto, Laguerre, a current day voudou shaman.
Jacob with his questionable past, intrigues Alex ,who struggles with a crisis in confidence. They find themselves bound together in mud-caked knots when Laguerre leads Alex on escapades both spiritual and illegal.
Laguerre, who in his criminal past implemented chaos and escape, confronts his own internal demons as he toys with and tutors Alex. The anthropologist, misled and beguiled, tramps the desolate streets of the Ninth Ward with his new-found friend, Mavis. A waitress at Bad Jacqui’s, Mavis strives to make sense of surviving the floods but still relives the night where trapped in her attic, she painted a visual journey of those who survived and drowned.
Lily Hampton, sculptor, torn between her love for both men, devises a devious plan of atonement which could heal or cause irrevocable harm.
Perry Laguerre, Jacob’s hermaphroditic twin, the trump card in this deck of freaks, comes out of hiding, the silent healer, who risks losing his brother in a complex attempt to enlighten and heal.
Following the failure of the levees, this raggle-taggle group is cast adrift and crashes together in an attempt to make sense of internal and external wastelands. The wreckage of devastated and government-abandoned New Orleans leaves no quarter for societal charades and consumer societies.
These quirky fringe-dwellers, as colorful and eccentric as the city itself, follow a taut path between madness and redemption in the no man’s land of Refrigerator Town following Special K where they assist in the aftermath and healing of both New Orleans and those who remain
Here in this unpredictable landscape they discover how art, existentialism, creativity, atonement, the Lower Ninth Ward, FEMA, New Orleans politics, music, flood, voudou, fire, Haitian history, mythology, alchemy, government apathy, human suffering… and ultimately transformation and sanctuary.

1 comment:

  1. Each book is like a new born child, an expression of the parent made manifest. While we approach birth with great joy and anticipation, there is always that nagging fear that we may not be a good parent-or maybe that no one will like my book. Of course, what matters is not if people like your book, but that you have chosen to be among the few that have something to say and the courage to do so. Shaman Circus has something to say and it is said well-it touched our hearts, so already the book is a success! Keep writing.


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