Sunday, October 14, 2012

Coming Out - Reversing the Lie


For National Coming Out Day and dedicated to PFLAG - Here's my little award winner.

No Irish Need Apply
a Novella by Edward C. Patterson 

“ This book is multi-faceted in that it describes in great detail the impact this love story has on all of the characters in the story. ” 
“ This is a great book if you want to get a perspective on what it would be like to be so different in high school; you're more than alone but estranged. ” 
“ In his novel No Irish Need Apply, Mr. Patterson breathes life into the characters and the dilemmas they face. ” 

No Irish Need Apply http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0012NOW44 on the Kindle
also on the Nook, Sony, Kobo, Dieselbooks and the Apple iPad

available in Paperback on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1434893952
and at Barnes & Noble

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fishing the Ocean Dry


"Some days the fish bite and the fisherman is happy. Some days they laugh at him, and he sits on the shore and pouts. But no matter how many fish he catches, there is always more laughing from beneath the waves. So he sighs and whistles and baits the hook again, casting with his best lure. Flounders dream — dreams flounder."
- Edward C. Patterson (me) from Extempore Thoughts of the Day included in - A Reader's Guide to Author's Jargon 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Imagination Runs Wild

When I was in the Army, I was stationed in Grafenwöhr, Germany and there was this woods - as spooky as you can imagine just outside the town - Hansel and Gretl spooky. When I would walk through it, my imagination would run wild with every Grimm story that my active mind could conger. So it should come as no surprise I would encapsulate those spooky mind roves with authobiographical material into a novel - and with 9 5-star reviews, and the Halloween holiday approaching, let me get your mind juices flowing too.


The Road to Grafenwöhr http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004QGYBKE

from the author of Surviving an American Gulag, No Irish Need Apply, Look Away Silence and The Jade Owl Legacy series.

PFC Quincy Summerson begins his military adventure in 1968 in Bavaria realizing that his presence stirs the paradigm - the thin line between twilight and night. His hyperactive imagination gets the better of him, and soon the world enlists him for a predestined purpose - to travel on the road to Grafenwoehr, where the wood is alive with myth and folk lore.

Set in a tense Cold War atmosphere during both the invasion of Czechoslovakia and the Vietnam call to arms, The Road to Grafenwoehr is one man's emotional journey to square nature's justice with humankind's disregard for it. It’s a summons for a least likely and reluctant champion. But those called to service rarely choose where they serve. They just answer it, ripening to their purpose. For Quincy Summerson, a hero’s life is not his choice, but can he ignore the call? Can he stay off the road once the twilight snares him?

The author writes: "The Road of Grafenwöhr owes its existence principally to my own good fortune to be stationed in Germany and that bustling Bavarian town between 1967-68. Although the work is far from autobiographical, most of the events of a historic and pictorial nature (and even some used for the fantasy) are recounted from my direct experiences. Such is the web we weave.

During the last days of authoring this work, my father passed away. Therefore, this work is dedicated to his memory and also to the memory of all the brave heroes who — from Bastogne to Peleliu — have made our world possible through their sacrifice."


“ The plot is very tight and the storyline moves. ” Todd A. Fonseca

“ "Road" is a fascinating mix of reality and fantasy woven together with writing that can turn lyrical or gritty with the twist of a phrase. ” Dana Taylor

“ The added specter of Vietnam during the era of this book gave it another layer. ” Doug DePew

Monday, July 9, 2012

PRESS RELEASE - In the Shadow of Her Hem


The Final Installment of The Jade Owl Legacy Series Is Published

Edward C. Patterson has released the fifth and final installment of his epic fantasy series The Jade Owl Legacy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
In the Shadow of Her Hem (The Jade Owl Book V)
In the Shadow of Her Hem (The Jade Owl Book V)
PRLog (Press Release) - Jul 09, 2012 -
Just published, In the Shadow of Her Hem, the fifth book and last installment of Edward C. Patterson's epic fantasy on Chinese cultural themes - The Jade Owl Legacy.
.
598 pages ISBN - 1478203064.

“China Hands! To Me!”  A green fog has engulfed the Wei River Valley. The First Emperor’s tomb is mysteriously rumbling. The Big Goose Pagoda is glowing like a lighthouse. And to blame? A bunch of Americans stranded in the consulate at Bei-jing, who, at the end of the last installment, came bursting through a portal in the People’s History Museum. “China Hands! To Me!” With that command, Rowden Gray has summoned his forces to return to the action - to the Dragon’s Pool in the shadow of Her hem, where the Jade Owl’s overlord commands an army of creatures, engineering the end of the world; or at least, the world, as we know it.

In this last book of The Jade Owl Legacy, our mixed bag of adventurers face their greatest challenge. They must negotiate the perils of the People’s government, the mysteries of the Palace of Broken Dreams, the dangers of the Ghost Lands and the mythic realm of the Classic of Mountains and Seas. Their odyssey delivers them to the final showdown — the Battle of the Full Moon, where all mysteries are revealed and every threat is settled. What began as a Sinologist’s dream converges on everyone’s nightmare. The Jade Owl calls you, but so does the muster to arms. Heed them both, but answer only one. “China Hands! To Me!”

The Jade Owl Legacy is a five book series. The first book (The Jade Owl) introduces a peculiar quest led by Professor Rowden Gray and a rag-tag team who follow a mysterious thread of instructions to thwart an ancient Chinese prophesy. Instead, they managed to set off events, igniting the crisis. Two demons, which possess a relic known as the Jade Owl, each in turn, after eons of imprisonment, test their land legs among the living. In The Third Peregrination, the Destroyer takes his turn with wrath and fire. In The Dragon’s Pool, the Great Marshal takes his spin, preparing the way for a curious ritual that will restore the world to a prehistoric state. To combat these spirits, our heroes acquire extraordinary powers in an attempt to thwart destiny’s course. However, destiny is not easily thwarted. In The People’s Treasure, all hell breaks loose as our heroes are manipulated to serve destiny’s course to fulfill the prophesy. However, In the Shadow of Her Hem, they bounce back against insurmountable odds and fight to save life from ultimate destruction. From San Francisco to New York, from Florence to China with her many faces, the Jade Owl proclaims an ancient evil that intends to triumph. This is the story of the brave hearts who rise to the challenge to tangle with the dark forces of yin.

AVAILBLE at Amazon.com for the Kindle - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008I9IS22
(Paperback) - http://www.amazon.com/dp/1478203064

The entire series (kindle links, but available in paperback and at all major eBook sites)

The Jade Owl http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001J54AWO
The Third Peregrination http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001Q3M9QI
The Dragon's Pool http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0028RY7BQ
The People's Treasure http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0044DELYU

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Writing for Just One Reader

As an author, I have a mighty responsibility. I must engage a reader, who has taken his or her time to invest in my story. Therefore, any story I write must be relevant and find its way into a reader’s imagination. The world bustles around us and reading is an escape.


Therefore, all my books have an element of fantasy, and like all fantasies, they must deliver the truth encapsulated in lies. Whether I take the reader to ancient China, a gay bar in Greenwich Village or a suburb in the wilds of New Jersey, they get there in the minds and hearts of my characters, who provide a view of my world through my eyes.

All my novels have a gay theme. However, they are not gay books. Sometimes I explore current and past gay community issues, and every novel has gay characters, but while I am gay, my reader is ... a reader. I make no assumptions that my audience is gay and looking for hot steamy sex scenes or political discussions or equality discourses. When it comes to creating a novel, I’m only seeking a reader.

Enough of the abstract. My novels are about the human condition, reality as I see it ~ in short, like any author, I’m a liar. I have a scholastic background in Chinese History. Therefore, I write Chinese fantasy works filled with drag queens, Cherokee warriors and wacky paranormal relics. I have written historical novels based on 12th century, homosexual Chinese scholar-officials.

Then there’s a suite of gay-themed social novels ~ the usual stuff. NOT. A gay murder mystery mixing an original edition of Moby Dick and internet strippers (of course); a Boyz in the Band-esque gay activist gathering that dissolves into a general round of back stabbing; a stint in the U.S. Army before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; a little tale about a ghost and a priest and a computer programmer; a domestic drama about teenage love and widowhood. The usual mix. NOT.

One of my latest work takes on the AIDS crisis of the 90’s from Act Up to the NAMES Project. In short, I write on a range of topics that transcend genre, but I guarantee you this. All are written for that one person out there looking for hours of engaged reading and who doesn’t mind seeing the world ... through my eyes.

Edward C. Patterson


Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Fish Out of Water


I recently had an e-mail from a reader who asked where I get my inspiration for my stories, especially Turning Idolater, which seemed unique to her — genre defying and yet satisfying genre need. In Turning Idolater, I literally take the protagonist, a young internet stripper who is yearning for something indescribable, and beach him in a world that makes him squeamish. The sleaze of the porn world smashed into the preciousness of the literary world creates a tsunami for all the characters. That the two main characters are as noble as Ishmael and Queequeg, taken from Moby Dick, grounds Turning Idolater in a genreless world, despite the echoes of gay-themed and whodunit. Is it a murder mystery? Is it slice of life? Is it a gay romance? Is it a romance, period? Yes. Like tofu in a pot, this novel is meant to appeal to every imagination it infects. A fish out of water in every genre in which it swims.
However, this doesn’t answer the prime question. Where do I get my inspiration? Well, here’s a state secret. I imagine a story that interests me, perhaps topically; perhaps it’s the character development possibilities. I think on that story and its possibilities and then I lay it out in a plank — simple and direct; an anchor for my writing. It stays with me for a long time — years perhaps. THEN, and this is the Patterson family recipe, I add an element diametrically oppose to the simple line; a kettle of fish out of water. Thus, a study of gay activist meetings becomes a satirical comedy on human frailty (Cutting the Cheese). A love story teaming with deceit becomes a super-charged ghost story (Bobby’s Trace). A simple coming out tale becomes a contemporary poster for prejudice (No Irish Need Apply). A memoir of the gay experience in the military in 1967 becomes a marathon run by a fat man (Surviving an American Gulag). A simple porn boy meets snob man romance becomes a high-powered murder mystery (Turning Idolater). A quest story becomes a Dickensian epic (The Jade Owl). A sedate exposition of a Chinese official’s life in the twelfth century becomes an historic epic (The Academician and Swan Cloud – the two parts of Southern Swallow). What happens when you tell a prosaic military tale set in Germany during the 60’s and smash it up again the Brothers Grimm? You get The Road to Grafenwoehr. Mix time travel and alternative worlds with the history of the Cherokee nation and you get Belmundus. How about gay discrimination in the workplace mixed with a cocktail of the biblical triad — Jonathan, David and Saul. That would be Green Folly. And it goes on and on in my works.
Take a fish out of water and let it swim in snow and everyone will want to know whether the snow is cold enough to preserve the fish, or the fish large enough to swallow the snow. Nothing is ever too simple to be riveting or too complex to repel.
Happy reading, dear readers.
Edward C. Patterson

Friday, March 23, 2012

Artifacts and Revision Ghosts

reprinted from Kindleboards:

by Edward C. Patterson

Recent threads continue the KB tradition of discussions about editing (poor or otherwise) and frustrations from readers and authors concerning books let out to pasture as thoroughly edited yielding errors nonetheless. At the risk of preaching to the choir, I'd like to talk about a post-editing phenomena called "Revision Artifacts" and "Editing Ghosts." One is bad, but the other is good — and sometimes really, really good.

While typos and other misdemeanors can be the result of poor editing (read: author apathy), artifacts are the result of the opposite — author devotion and diligence toward perfection. Any software programmer will tell you that when you open a program for changes, you need to test it, because to monkey around with it usually breaks something else. This is what happens with revision and the application of duly found edits. The author applies the edit or pursues revisions and thus leaves an artifact.

There are two classes of artifacts — passive and active. Active artifacts occur at the site of the change. They are usually an extra word or letter OR a missing word or phrase. Sometimes the original(or a portion of the original) is left alongside the change making for a bumpy read. A frequent offender is possessive conversion IE. the queen of the May converted to May's queen of. Whoops. It is quite easy to delete too much when highlighting in word processing or not enough. Joining two sentences and leaving the period or the opposite leaving the comma followed by a capital, is frustrating to an author who is confident their work was published unblemished.
Passive artifacts are caused to other parts of the sentence or paragraph apart from the change scene. Change a verb and you need to change pronouns perhaps. Change a tense, other areas of the paragraph may need adjustment. Omit an adverb and perhaps the remaining noun takes an "an" instead of an "a." In all instances, the artifact remains after the majority of revision and editing is accomplished.

The remedy is simple (obviously). Last revisions and editing applications should be approached with care, Double check each. Spell-check the entire chapter after a revision (Spell checkers may be notorious as the sole tool of dependence, but in this case, it's invaluable). Finally, use a computer read back program such as Natural Speech or Kindle's text-to-speech to read back your entire manuscript as the final go through. You'll be surprised at how good these are finding both active and passive artifacts.

Revision Ghosts

Unlike artifacts, revision ghosts are good things. The more you author and the less you write, ghosts help support subtext and tone. When you're in the ZONE and spilling story down furiously without any regard for redundancy or refinement, some of the best stuff that you'll be cutting emerges on the page. During this act, all your words hug and embrace each other forming a bond. During revision you refine your work, adding and cutting and trimming and changing. However, despite your best efforts, the original bond between the original and the final remains. Cut sentences and paragraphs form an invisible hole, which the surviving sections still resonate. This resonance is called ghosting and is important to the mix, lingering unspoken but felt in the fabric of the work. I believe that one of the more important reasons for revising your manuscript is to leave these accidental ingredients. Much like artifacts, which detract, revision ghosts enhance a work. Writers (I say writers, because no author would consider a work finished without at least one revision) who rush to publication without revisions miss out on this perk.

Well, I've babbled enough. The reason for it is to demonstrate that sometimes a critic, reviewer or blogger will take offense with an error and press it home, and although nothing exonerates the author's responsibility for any blight upon art's face, caring authors leave artifacts because they have tried hard, but just short of the goal — but in compensation they have enhanced the reading experience with revision ghosts that linger with a reader who just can't put their finger on it.

Edward C. Patterson
Readers Rock

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Jade Owl (Book I)

The Jade Owl

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001J54AWO

In China they whisper about the Jade Owl and its awful power. This ancient stone, commissioned by the Empress Wu and crafted by a mineral charmer, long haunted the folk of the Middle Kingdom until it vanished into an enigma of legend and lore. Now the Jade Owl is found. It wakes to steal the day from day. Its power to enchant and distort rises again. Its horror is revealed to a band of five, who must return it to the Valley of the Dead before the laws of ch’i are set aside in favor of destruction’s dance. Five China Hands, each drawn through time’s thin fabric by the bird, discover enchantment on the secret garland. Five China Hands, and one holds the key to the world’s fate. Five China Hands. Only one Jade Owl - but it’s awake and in China, they whisper again.




Professor Rowden Gray has come to San Francisco following a new opportunity at the East Asian Arts and Culture Museum, only to find that the opportunity has evaporated. Desperate, he means to end his career in a muddle of pity and Scotch, but then things happen. He latches on to a fascinating young man who is pursuing a lost relic that Professor Gray has in fact been seeking. Be careful for what you seek - you may just find it. Thus begins a journey that takes the professor and his companions on a spirited adventure across three-thousand miles of Chinese culture and mystery - a quest to fulfill a warrant long set out to ignite the world in myth and legend. The Jade Owl is the beginning of a series - a legacy that fulfills a terrible truth; and in China, they whisper again.




A Finalist in the 2009 RAINBOW AWARDS




Review from Rainbow Reviews
Sinologist Professor Rowden Gray receives the opportunity of his professional lifetime, a curator position at the fabled San Francisco East Asian Museum of East Asian Arts and Culture, which houses the collection of his late mentor, "Old China Hand" John Battle. Battle's great work had been discredited due to his insistence on the Jade Owl, a mysterious missing artifact commissioned by China's only Empress. When RG arrives, he immediately discovers the position has been rescinded, he encounters a strange young man who proves to be Battle's prodigal son, and learns the Jade Owl really exists. Plunging into a drama worthy of an Errol Flynn swashbuckler, the soon-boon companions and several others are off on a life-and-death chase through San Francisco and then on to Hong Kong as the portal into China.




The Jade Owl is a nonstop, don't miss page turner and only the first in a quintology, The Jade Owl Legacy series. Readers, run, do not walk to your nearest book outlet and grab this intriguing gay mystery with its fully realized characters, gay and straight and bi, roller-coaster plotting, and paranormal fantasy elements. The Jade Owl is a true winner.




Review from Aricia Gavrial's Book Reviews:
In this novel, the artifact is an ancient Chinese object, a six inch piece of Jade carved in the likeness of an owl -- and it's actually a key that opens a box known as the Joy of Finches. What's in the box? That would be telling! But everybody wants the key.




The first thing that impressed me about Jade Owl was how knowledgeable about Chinese antiquities the writer is, and about China itself. Shanghai and Beijing are described with the same amount of detail and enthusiasm as San Francisco -- and never having been to either China or the USA myself, I really appreciated the "local color." Many writers, when setting their plots in London, New York, what have you, seem to think that everyone's been there and knows intimately every secret of the city. Not true. So, the first level where Jade Owl succeeds is in "selling me" San Francisco, which is the setting for the first long segment of the book.
Jade Owl is a real treat, on a par with the top-notch writers who sell in the gajillions. The Jade Owl is an extremely good read.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

No Irish Need Apply


No Irish Need Apply






Kevin Borden has a secret, and that secret is about to shake the world around him - a tame and suburban world ruled by his widowed mother, Sarah and peppered by his study-mate, Louis. Teenagers sometimes do the darndest things, but in Kevin and Louis' case, it's a stroke of wisdom wrapped in fool's gold. In a time not so long ago, in the days of JIM CROW and NO IRISH NEED APPLY signage, the world made hate clear to those regarded as the fringe. "Stay away." To those who know no better - or perhaps know best, such lines are only meant to be crossed, or why else would they be drawn.

No Irish Need Apply is dedicated to PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), an organization that has guided many youth across that line into the loving arms of those listening to their hearts; those shattering those hateful Jim Crow signs. Come visit with the Bordens and the Lonnegans as they take that journey across the line.

Revised for 2010.

Winner of the Red Adept Annual Indie Award (2010)Selected as 2009 June Book of the Month by Booz Allen Hamilton's Diversity Reading Group.

Review from Rainbow Reviews:
"No Irish Need Apply by Edward C. Patterson is light homoerotic contemporary romance.
Kevin and Louis may know what prejudice feels like, but otherwise their childhoods are vastly different. Kevin has always gotten along fine at school where as Louis has always been treated with disdain and thought of as gay. They saw each other at school, but never really met until Louis is assigned as Kevin’s study partner. Louis has always known that he is different and he hopes that Kevin is that way too. Kevin has always done what is expected until he meets Louis and begins to have strange feelings for Louis.

As Kevin begins to explore these feelings, they both realize that slogan No Irish Need Apply relates to their situation more than they care for. Neither Louis or Kevin are truly out of the closet about how they feel for one another or their sexuality. Will they find the strength of will to acknowledge their feelings out in the open or will they like many people be doomed to deny their true selves?

Mr. Patterson has created an incredible story by linking it with prejudices that happened earlier in the century. By using this analogy that many understand from their study of history, it allows the reader to see how modern day prejudice effects people in the same manner it did years ago. I think that Kevin and Louis were very brave to stand up for themselves and in doing so they may have helped other young people in their same situation. I find this story very compelling and a must read for anyone who doesn’t understand how bigotry can effect people. I will be looking for other stories by Mr. Patterson."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Look Away Silence by Edward C. Patterson

Look Away Silence http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002HRER5S


Martin Powers wanted an ironing board for Christmas. Instead, he got . . . Matthew Kieler, a non-returnable gift, but a gift that kept on giving. Chance encounters are sometimes the ones that most change our lives. He sold Matt a tie, but got more in the bargain - more than most people would want and more than anyone deserved. Although these lovers may not have had the pink American dream, they had it better than most, even as they faced a crisis that would change us all. Look Away Silence is a romance set in the time of AIDS, when ignorance could spell trouble and often did. It encompasses the author’s experiences in volunteer community service and personal friendships during a tragic period in American history. The novel is dedicated to the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation, the NAMES Project and to the author’s own fallen angels. "Mothers, do not shun your children, because you never know how long you have to revel in them."

PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: Review from Rainbow Reviews This is an intensely emotional story about a young couple that falls in love, only to face the AIDS crisis instead of matching pink rockers on the porch. At a time when the government was refusing to acknowledge the crisis and the immortality of youth cast a protective pall over young gay men, this couple must cope with a horrible disease and the ramifications within their family and larger community. A very intensely moving story that packs an incredible punch, the last half left me crying all the way through it and beyond for some time. This is not a light-hearted tale but combines several important themes and a deeply romantic and fulfilling, yet heart breaking relationship that will resonate and stay with the reader for some time. Martin Powers meets Matt, a shy blue-eyed cowboy on Christmas eve and although Martin expects the relationship to barely last to New Year’s, it turns into a permanent partnership. Their happiness in each other create a small bubble around their love and world that is all too soon popped when the horrible specter of Matt’s dead lover and the crisis of AIDS invades their world. All of a sudden Martin is confronted with issues and problems he has never imagined and struggles with the intense emotions that come along. The writing is instantly engaging and engrossing as Martin’s character is likable and relatable. The pacing is well done and the book is incredibly easy to read, even for all the intense emotion elicited. Martin is a wonderful character as he is first introduced through his love of laundry and cleaning attachments through his surprising affection and love for a small, blue eyed cowboy that loves snow. Martin’s maturity, humor and intelligence are at odds with his young age, only twenty years old. Martin is not perfect and struggles through the story with his jealousy, fears, manipulation, and selfishness. His dysfunctional childhood has changed the way he views relationships and although he can look back on his faults, he makes numerous mistakes. However, for all his faults he truly and deeply loves Matt and that love is returned, creating the first solid and meaningful relationship young Martin has ever had. As Martin matures and finds strength and courage where he fears none exist, it’s easy to forget that he is only twenty three by the end of the story, and Matt was only twenty five. These are incredibly young men who should have been able to grow old together but instead live a full, loving life as best they can. Woven into the romance between the men are multiple themes about the gay community and the impact AIDS has upon the country and various individuals. Several couples from past works by the author make brief cameos in this story, although the focus never waivers from Martin and Matt. The depth of the characters and their story is an important tale that transcends gender and race. This is one story that will resonate for a very long after the incredibly beautiful final page.