Sunday, December 20, 2009
As a veteran and a citizen I want to thank you all for your courage and sacrifice to keep this world safer and my liberties intact. Without our brave men and women in the coalition forces, all citizens would be shackled to their fears and sleep the sleep of the restless. I appreciate what's a stake here and know that a gift of a mere book is a small contribution to ease the hours you spend away from home and family, but I am glad to make it, as insignificant as it is compared with the gift that you have given me and to all the citizens of the countries that you represent.
I hope to hear from you, telling me if my fictional world intrudes upon your real world and if it has added some comfort to your magnificent service.
May this message find you healthy and safe. May you be blessed beyond all measure and find some joy within each other and with the many who pray for your safe return.
Edward C. Patterson(formerly SP 5 Ed Patterson US Army, 6th Batallion, 60th Artilery (1966-68)
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Operation eBook Drop has astounded me. If anyone would have told me that after three months nearly 290 authors would be participating offering a huge library to the troops, I’d have said — go away!
Here’s the genesis for the program, which was never conceived as such. While in the Amazon discussion groups, I was following the posts of a soldier who was stationed in Iraq. He was helping another customer through the steps to download eBooks through a router to their Kindle. On impulse, I offered this soldier (Joe Terry) a copy of my thirteen published works, if he wanted them. He did and, through our correspondence, I learned just how important reading is to the troops. I should have known this, because I’m an Army veteran (1966-67) — the lonely hours away from home and overseas are real. Wow, I could have killed for a Kindle then.
Operation eBook Drop started on the cuff and replicates that initial gift. I created an Amazon thread to ask if any other deployed troops had Kindles and wanted my books. There were a few nibbles. I then surveyed Indie authors that hung out on Kindleboards.com. The survey results were positive, but soon I had twenty authors asking to donate their books — then thirty — then . . . well, the word went out across the Internet. Within a week, I had an email from Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords.com. Smashwords is a premier on-line eBook distributor, converting Indie books into various eBook formats. Smashwords is also global. Mark Coker decided that Smashwords would back the project, opening up their author network to come aboard. This facilitated eBook delivery, because a link to the page on Smashwords and a 100%-Off Discount code. The long of the short of it, after a month we had over 60 authors participating and the troops were lining up also.
Operation eBook Drop is still off the cuff, and that’s the key to its success. There’s no central site, communication blog or layers of organization. It simply replicates my interaction with Joe Terry. I maintain a list of troops and authors. When a new author opts in, I email them the troop list and they’re responsible for sending the links and code(s), their own welcome email and, in turn, receive feedback directly from the troops. The troops get what they love most — access to a reading library in a shower of emails. I didn’t want to hog the good feelings, so each author has communication responsibility. They blog, post, network, and even go into print.
The program is only twelve weeks old and we have 290 participating authors, 7 publishing site in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and over 70 Troop points of light, including families preparing Kindles for their sons and daughters. We’ve adopted a submarine, the eBook Marine Special Forces program, troops in Iraq, Korea, Afghanistan, Japan, Kuwait, Djibouti, Gitmo and at sea (including the Nimitz). I’m astounded by the success, but why should I be? Independent authors brim with generosity. They know struggle and make their own decisions when it comes to their books and who gets them. They’re in control. Personally, I’m stand in awe of them and urge readers to support them by buying their books. It’s my estimate that the Indie authors of Operation eBook Drop have made available 20,160 copies of eBooks to the troops on the program (and that’s a low estimate as some of the authors have multiple titles and offer them all). The troops choose what they want to read and use the coupons as they see fit, downloading eBooks and porting them to their eReading device.
As for the troops — what can I say? Their sacrifice for our freedom is a better gift than any book I could write. However, because of that freedom, I can author my books as they assure my freedom of speech and the air I breathe. It’s a small donation to fill in their hours away from home and, perhaps in those hours I can provoke a smile or a tear or an escape. Small price to pay for heroism. I salute these brave men and women and hope that no one ever forgets their contribution and sacrifice.
Here are some links for further information on Operation eBook Drop:
For information on joining (authors, deployed troops or their families): http://blog.smashwords.com/2009/09/smashwords-supports-operation-ebook.html
For information on Operation eBook Drop authors: http://tinyurl.com/ygk8u5o
For the Operation eBook Drop Kindleboards forum: http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,13352.0.html
And come join the Operation eBook Drop Fan club at Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Operation-EBook-Drop/172002003420
Edward C. Patterson
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Today I published an article for RedAdept on her Kindle Review Blog:
Thanks to all the Operation eBook Authors for supporting our troops.
"I believe that human courage must be matched by our very best efforts. As authors we may not be luminaries, but we all have a light to stand tall beside those who protect our right to be creative in ways not allowed universally. In that, we pay their courage forward with our creative thanks."
Edward C. Patterson
Monday, October 26, 2009
Operation EBook Drop is nearing the 200 Indie author participation level. The program donates eBooks via links and coupons to our brave deployed coalition forces throughout the world. For further informtion on the program or to join, go to:
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I started a little project over at Amazon gifting ebooks to deployed military troops with ebook readers, which in five days has mushroomed to over 20 Indie authors contributing their ebooks for free to our deployed brave men and women in the Armed forces.THEN, it got so big, so fast, Smashword's president, Mark Coker, approached me to get it on a firmer footing and as of today they have thrown their full support into the program which we call Operation Ebook Drop.Here's a link to all the information and I hope that authors who read this will participate and any one who can get the word out to the military services (I'm working on some agencies) will do so (the information is also on the mashword blogsite. here's the link.
my email address is on the blog at Smashwords
And today I did a Guest Blog on Books on the Knob promoting Operation Ebook Drop, which is mushrooming daily
Books on the Knob is also available as an Amazon Kindle Subscription Blog, so words of this project will now be delivered to Kindles nationwide.
Edward C. Patterson
formerly Spec 5 E. Patterson, USArmy 6th Batallion, 60th Artillery (1966-68)
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Review by Todd A. Fonseca (Minneapolis, MN)
After saving the world and fulfilling the warrants in The Third Peregrination (Book 2 of the Jade Owl Legacy Series), Rowden Gray welcomes a more traditional domestic life. Expecting his second child and preparing for a new display as curator at the museum, all seems well. Yet Rowden's dreams foretell a future adventure and he wonders why it is the gifts of telekinesis and telepathy bestowed upon him by the now silent artifacts remain. For Nick Battle however, these are more than just questions but a curse. Blessed with similar gifts, Nick dons a mask and cape living out his nights as a vigilante attempting to right the worlds wrongs one incident at a time. Around the world, the other China Hands are once again inexplicably drawn to one another to not only save loved ones from the clutches of time but complete a new warrant involving an even greater power than they had previously encountered or expected.
In this third installment of the Jade Owl Legacy, Edward C. Patterson once again delivers on an intriguing fantasy. Whereas the first two books focus around the relics which drive much of the story, this book takes a moment to fill in the back story for the main characters. Patterson weaves a complex and detailed tapestry of families, legend, history, destiny, politics, love interests, and conspiracy all with an international flair including the requisite destinations of San Francisco and China with substantial time also dedicated to Italy. This book brings back some of the strongest characters from the first book including Nick's partner Simone and many of the others who were either not mentioned or had small parts in the second offering. As usual, Patterson's descriptions, characters, and cadence bring great texture to a very unusual, educational, and engaging story.
While the first two books could likely be read independently, I think this book is best enjoyed if the previous books are read first. Also, a companion series (the Southern Swallow Series) provides readers with additional information explaining the origins of the relics and the references to the key characters referenced throughout the Jade Owl Series.
Patterson has truly created an expansive and epic series with the Jade Owl Legacy. Though all warrants appear closed at the end of this installment, Patterson throws in a unexpected twist at the end leaving the door open for the next adventure"
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
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.
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.Question: Which Edward C. Patterson novel has a whale’s tail depicted on the back cover? Visit http://www.dancaster.com to find the answer!
Monday, August 3, 2009
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 book is divided into four parts. The first depicts how Martin and Matt meet and the first year and a half of their relationship followed by the second part dealing with the AIDS crisis and how it becomes personal and affects their happy world. The third part covers Martin and Matt as they cope with illness and the intense emotions that impact both men and their friends and family. The final fourth part is an epilogue. Each of these is moving and intense as the story is told in first person narrative from Martin’s point of view. 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.
There are numerous technical errors in the writing unfortunately. The names Martin and Matt are confused several times and punctuation is sometimes misplaced or dropped. There are also a few misspelled words and misused words. These are noticeable and sometimes distracting but don’t take away from the emotional connection and impact of the story, which for me is the best part. The choice of first person narrator makes the story intimate and engrossing, as the reader is able to connect with Martin through his humor, whimsy, fears, and later strength. Although this leaves the other characters with less of a well defined characterization, most notably in Matt, Martin is a strong and sympathetic voice.
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. Martin slowly becomes aware and involved in activism and a support group for AIDS caregivers and patients. There are several brief but moving stories told from strangers as they deal with the impact this devastating epidemic had at that time. The supporting characters from both families, their friends, and the perfect stranger all give context and help both men understand the far reaching impact beyond their tragedy. Along side are the realistic concerns about money, insurance, hospital bills, drug costs, jobs, and the reality that life almost stops to care for someone debilitated with AIDS. Although this is fiction, it easily is a depiction of so many couples.
This is certainly not an easy book but undeniable emotionally masterful. The depth of the characters and their story is an important tale that transcends gender and race, highlighting a time that had and continues to have devastating effects. The title is so appropriate and fitting to the characters and the topics, even if I hate the cover. Be sure to have some tissues handy as Martin’s story is sure to move you to tears numerous times while also giving laughter, love, joy, and happiness beside the sorrow. This is one story that will resonate for a very long after the incredibly beautiful final page.
Look Away Silence http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1448651921 (Paperback) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002HRER5S (Kindle) also for Mobipocket and Sony Reader, Pdf and other formated a www.smashword.com
Edward C. Patterson
Monday, July 20, 2009
Edward C. Patterson
Look Away Silence is schedule for release on July 24th, but is already available for the Amazon kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002HRER5S
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Look Away Silence:
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.”
complete release: http://tinyurl.com/mc54wu
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Edward C. Patterson
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
"Never a Dull Moment
Mr. Patterson defines his characters so well, we feel we know them personally. Phillip Flaxen was the Golden Boy of his job as an Internet Stripper who made dates on the side. This job barely kept him in lunch money and he was lucky to eat once a day! Then he meets a fascinating older man who truly loves him and he helps change Phillip's lifestyle. He acquires a decent job that pays better and he loves working with rare books. His ex-roommate, his friend "Sprakie" who took him in during the worst time of his life is quite the character too. His favorite phrase, "Jesus Marie", is enough to drive his friends up the wall. The who-dunnit that winds its way throughout the story is captivating, and we never know who the culprit is until the very end. There's never a dull moment in this book! Good job, Mr. Patterson. Herman Melville and Charles Dickens would be proud."
Edward C. Patterson
Visit my Amazon Authors Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BMI6X8
Monday, June 29, 2009
"12th Century China - Graduating with the highest honor at the academy, Li K'ai-men is charged by his great teacher and master Han Lin with carrying out a number of warrants both public and secret. Designated as the new superintendent of Su-chou, Li K'ai-men restores order and beauty to this chronically neglected area and proves he is more than an academic. However, Li is not perfect and his errors in judgment only serve to build his character; soon his talents are recognized by the Emperor and K'ai-men finds himself tutor to a royal prince. But political unrest and war soon come and China quickly finds itself in turmoil. Not only must Li K'ai-men protect his prince, but also the secret warrants associated with the Jade Owl relics.
In The Academician, Edward C. Patterson takes the reader into the heart of 12th century China and the historical events that unfold. Patterson masterfully weaves in the fictional fantastic elements of the Jade Owl and the character of Li K'ai-men during the sweeping changes in China's dynasties centering around the great painter but ineffective Emperor Hui and his family. Fans of Patterson will once again find a story strong in character development and steeped in ancient Chinese culture and events of the day with hints of the fantastical elements that are sure to build in later installments.
Told from the perspective of K'u Ko-ling - Li K'ai-men's faithful though occasionally acerbic servant - each chapter begins with a 1st person account of events detailed in the remainder of the chapter. In this way, Patterson is able to avoid too much exposition while still conveying the richness of the history woven into the story. Reminiscent of James Clavell's work but injected with even stronger character development with the addition of the fantastical elements, Patterson creates an engaging and enlightening read.
Fans of the Jade Owl Legacy will find the beginnings of this relic and its associates. Much like the back-story extras on a good collector's addition of a DVD, the Academician provides that detailed background into what would later drive Rowden Grey and Nick Battle into the quest of a lifetime. I'm looking forward to the next offering in the Southern Swallow series."
Edward C. Patterson
The Academician - Paperback
The Academician - Kindle
Friday, June 5, 2009
Authors are a sharing lot. They want to reach out and touch someone, specifically a reader. However, if you ask any author how they do that, you will get a variation on a theme — some responses filled with passion, while others chock full of hooey. They will disagree on basic aspects. Some feel that novels should be plot driven, while others favor characters. Some like spare writing, while others favor a detailed revelation of their research. Sometimes the genre dictates the approach. Sometimes not. In any event, there are as many approaches as there are reader preferences. Once an author settles into a style, that style can develop into a brand that permeates a bookshelf at a hundred yards.
I am not peculiar in this respect. I have been writing for over fifty years and authoring for over forty. Through trial and error and exposure to the masters and the wannabees (editors, agents and publicists), I have developed a flexible style in creating a story that reaches out to touch someone. I believe a story sits at the base of a novel and is developed, not plotted. In fact, the word plot is a misnomer. It emerges when an author builds a strict set of tracks for the readers, the characters and the story to follow. This comes from outlining, and in many cases, over development. Plot is a misnomer because overdevelopment of plot usually underdevelops a novel. Characters are constrained or forced to arc by the author’s command rather than by their natural inclination. Readers are constrained, their imaginations dampened by the one-way street of plotting instead of the two-way street of creativity. Dialog forwards plot and not character. Description is anchored to one or two senses (usually sight, and occasionally touch) instead of the five that make the story vibrant. Narrative becomes a matter of point A to B, instead of an opportunity to engage the reader with humor and irony. Story is the product of character, settings and events, and all the interaction between these. The author is a conductor, waving a baton over a score of knowledge and sturdy craft, orchestrating that time frame when the elements come together and resonate into a story. The finished product is the sum of that time frame (the Zone) and several revisions whereby the author polishes the whole with a gemologist’s skill.
The final result — the part that reaches out and touches the reader, is an amalgamation of draft, revision and refinement. If the reader is lucky, much of the draft — the heart and soul of the work, will remain and not be whittled away by the necessary cuts, the logical balance, the thematic implantation and the grammatical corsetry that revision and refinement entail. The draft is born in the Zone, and if some of the Zone touches the reader, there will be a heightened sense of allegiance to the work. However, and this is unfortunate, no matter how hard authors try, the reader can never experience the Zone.
The Zone is a place where true authors dwell. Getting there is a journey. It is where the story world becomes so real that the characters write their own dialog and rain can be felt and the sea can drown you. There is an accentuation — a narcotic, if you will, that allows the mind, heart and soul to unite and slay page after page with the rich cream of virtual reality. In fact, virtual reality is the closest I can think of to describe the feeling. Authors use different methods to get into the Zone (and we don’t always get there in every writing session). Stephen King uses heavy metal music. Jane Austen used isolation. Hemmingway used hard alcohol. I use classical music, isolation and . . . well, no alcohol, but cookies, preferably Veronas (Apricot) and Milanos. Most authors that I know prefer isolation or a special place. I can write anywhere, and have gotten into the Zone without the music or the Milanos, but the experience is different, akin to being on the edge of the forest, peeking in rather than frolicking with the flora and fauna. A good sign that an author is in the Zone is that we speak in the voices of our characters. Dickens did a mean Sarah Gamp. I do a wonderful drag queen.
So if you should pass by my window while I’m in the Zone, don’t report me as being some Son of Sam crazy, who hears voices commanding me to write novels. It’s just a symptom of the art and thankfully, it’s incurable. However, as much as I try to reach out and touch readers, I, like my fellow authors, jealousy guard the gates to the forest, where our children are born and the stories gush from the rocks and rills without plot. We are not gods and goddesses after all, but mere artists high on music and chocolate covered cookies.
Edward C. Patterson
Visit my Amazon Authors Page
Monday, May 25, 2009
Come visit and explore, then come back to Amazon and explore some more.
Edward C. Patterson
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I strive to engage the reader, challenging them to think. Not only should they put one word in front of the other to achieve an end, they should collaborate with me and complete my thoughts; escape to a world that we both share. I do not aim at a mass audience, or even a gay audience. Although all my books have gay characters and many have gay themes, I write for just one reader and don’t care about their sexual orientation. I present that reader with living, breathing characters, who stick in their mind and lodge in their cares. Story is almost immaterial. The journey is the thing; a path that glues the reader to the page as they turn and turn and turn . . . An escape — a refuge.
Into this stew pot of authoring, I inject my experiences. I have degrees in Chinese History and have traveled extensively. As such, my longest works, The Jade Owl Legacy series is China-themed; and The Academician is a tale of 12th Century China. I have an affinity for fantasy, so alternate realities play a role in my books. As a gay activist with many years in service to the cause, books like Turning Idolater, No Irish Need Apply and Cutting the Cheese are gay-dominant, although you might be surprised that these have been embraced by the non-gay community. I feel ambassadorial. Bobby’s Trace spans both the gay-themed and the fantasy worlds; and as a gay-veteran (1966-68), I have a military tale based on my experiences in the U.S. Army in 1967 (Surviving an American Gulag).
My latest work is the third installment of The Jade Owl Legacy series, called The Dragon’s Pool. Like its two predecessors, it revels in the nexus of the modern and ancient world; and continues the epic of a band of characters that have been well received by readers of the series. I am currently working on two new works — the second installment of the Southern Swallow series, entitled The Nan Tu (The Southern Migration), an historical fantasy recounting the bifurcation of the Sung Dynasty during the early 12th Century. It will continue to explore the contours of human sexuality in medieval China. The other work is a romance in the time of AIDS, entitled Look Away Silence, a work that channels many of my own experiences as an AIDS service volunteer and takes a side-glance at the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA).
My motto will continue to be — Write with your heart, edit with your mind, instill the work with poetry and humor, and the book will author itself. From my mind to your imagination . . .
An excerpt from The Dragon’s Pool can be read at author’s den http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewwork.asp?id=33323.
A complete list of my novels can be viewed at my website, Dancaster Creative http://www.dancaste/com
Monday, May 18, 2009
"The Dragon's Pool continues the riveting tales begun in the first two volumes of this exciting paranormal/intersexual series. With Rowden Gray settled into the coveted position of Curator-General of the San Francisco Museum of East Asian Arts and Culture, married to his beloved Audrey and father of a toddler daughter and a new child due soon, life is sweet and often serene. The Jade Owl has been hidden away ~ far, far, away from Nick Battle, son and cultural heir of the famous "Old China Hand" John Battle, whose artifact collection the Museum houses-but the Jade Owl is not the only supernatural entity about to disturb the peace of the Museum and of Rowden, his family, and friends.
Each preceding volume of Edward C. Patterson's extensive series The Jade Owl Legacy has been a marvel of convoluted plotting, supernatural venue, finely delineated characterization, and heartwarming romance, love, and attachment, set in the subcultures of archaeology and the gay community of San Francisco. The series records a paranormal legacy stretching from ancient China to contemporary San Francisco and back across the oceans to China today, with characters who each elicit the reader's empathy as their lives unfold, and unusual and unexpected events run the gamut of the supernatural continuum of probabilities. This reviewer enjoyed particularly both the paranormal excursions and Mr. Patterson's cleverly delineated revelations of San Francisco's multi-layered gay subculture. In any event, as with the two preceding entries in The Jade Owl Legacy series, The Dragon's Pool is another not-to-be-missed novel from accomplished and prolific author Edward C. Patterson."
- review by PermaFrost
Friday, May 1, 2009
Edward C. Patterson's, The Dragon's Pool, Book III in The Jade Owl Legacy series will be published and available on May 11, 2009. This third installment of the five book series brings this epic tale mid-crest. The first two books are The Jade Owl and The Third Peregrination, both available at Amazon.com and eBook (Kindle, Sony Reader and Mobipocket).
The Dragon’s Pool
The Third Book in the Jade Owl Legacy Series.
A shadow stalks the lanes and streets, from Gui-lin to San Francisco; from Florence to the Dragon’s Pool. In its wake, Rowden Gray and his China Hands follow a course to right the wrongs of time. The relic is hidden, but stirs in the soul and archaic rituals long since forgotten, but never lost. Some books are closed. Others are open, giving up their secrets. And in the darkness, ancient terror awaits. A barrren field yields up its magic and . . . the comets return to earth.
The Dragon’s Pool, the next installment of an adventure like none other, looms across the landscape giving even the stouthearted pause to reflect. The stalwart characters of The Jade Owl and The Third Peregrination are back, and joined by new players and helper bees and . . . yes, villains. It is time for the Tien-xin Rite. It is time to close history’s fissure. It is time to complete the prophesy that dwells beneath Her Majesty’s hem. It is time to count the teeth that emerge from the Dragon’s Pool.
Edward C. Patterson has been writing novels, short fiction, poetry and drama his entire life, always seeking the emotional core of any story he tells. With his eighth novel, The Jade Owl, he combines an imaginative touch with his life long devotion to China and its history. He has earned an MA in Chinese History from Brooklyn College with further postgraduate work at Columbia University. A native of Brooklyn, NY, he has spent four decades as a soldier in the corporate world gaining insight into the human condition. He won the 2000 New Jersey Minority Achievement Award for his work in corporate diversity. Blending world travel experiences with a passion for story telling, his adventures continue as he works to permeate his reader's souls from an indelible wellspring.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Poetic Prose with Both Depth and Substance, April 26, 2009
Review By Greg Banks (www.wheelmanpress.com)
It's not often these days that you come across writing that possesses both the literary beauty of a classic poem with the depth and substance of a contemporary tale. A story may be gritty and real, with writing that reflects the coarseness of the environment in which the characters live, or you have prose that weaves a magical spell with beautiful turns of phrase, but once you're done reading it leaves you with little to chew on after the fact. But "No Irish Need Apply" by Edward C. Patterson contains both substance and style, a contemporary tale with told with the poetic beauty of the literary classics of the past. "No Irish Need Apply," a reference to the times when Irish immigrants were discriminated against, blatantly reflected by signs posted outside many establishments letting it be known that if you were Irish, then you shouldn't bother coming inside, is a story of love, a forbidden love in many circles, because it's the love story for two teen boys. For many, the subject may be controversial, even considered a topic as forbidden as the incidents it portrays. But in the hands (or should I say pen?) of Mr. Patterson, the story is told with compassion and grace. The tale of these teens as they come to recognize, and eventually accept, their growing love for one another is one which transcends the stigmas and prejudices surrounding homosexuality. It's a story that lives and breathes, takes you inside the minds of two young men dealing with issues that pretty much every human being should be able to identify with. "No Irish Need Apply" isn't a preachy tale, nor a rant against the establishment that denies same-sex relationships equal protection under the law. It's simply a story about teenage angst and love, and of two people trying to find themselves as they discover each other.
If the world is lucky, stories like this one that will kick down the walls of prejudice and the misguided applications of morality that still plagues our world, and in doing so bring better understanding and acceptance to us all. "No Irish Need Apply" isn't just a must read in my opinion, it should be required reading for everyone. Do yourself a favor and read it today. -
Gregory Bernard Banks, author of "2012: Seeking Closure"
Monday, April 27, 2009
37 years in development, this tale of 12th Century China is finally here:
The Academician http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001UE7D96
"A bigger fool the world has never known than I - a coarse fellow with no business to clutch a brush and scribble. I only know the scrawl, because my master took pleasure in teaching me between my chores. Not many men are so cursed . . ." Thus begins the tale of Li K’ai-men as told by his faithful, but mischievous servant, K’u Ko-ling - a tale of 12th Century China, where state service meant a life long journey across a landscape of turmoil and bliss. A tale of sacrifice, love, war and duty - a fragile balance between rituals and passions. An epic commitment between two men to define the indefinable in their own world and time. Here begins the legacy of the Jade Owl and its custodian as he holds true to his warrants.
The Academician is the first of four books in the Southern Swallow series, capturing the turbulence of the Sung Dynasty in transition. Spanning the silvery days under the Emperor Hui to the disasters that followed, The Academician is a slice of world events that should never have been forgotten. Still, there are things more important than invasions and empires. The world’s fate rests in the warrants of Li K’ai-men, this young scholar from Gui-lin, called master by his faithful servant, but known as Nan Ya to the world.
Edward C. Patterson. M.A.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Please join the thousands of listeners at
The Soul of Humanity, on the Artist First Radio Network:
and also visit Bobby's Ozuna's blog, where I will be featured for Q & A.
Thank youEdward C. Patterson
Friday, April 17, 2009
Before the Kindle, there were BOOKS - big, beautiful, bodacious BOOKS, with all manner of fonts sizes that regalled me from an ever growing library that crept from one end of my living space to another. When I left the house, be it for a train commute in the 1970's or a "what to read at lunch time" tote (now), I would need to SELECT, and since I read more than one book at a time, I had a backpack filled with books chosen from the sagging shelf. Heavy on the back. And when carried under the arm, a balancing act. And when I dozed over my books, as I eventually do, they slipped out of my hands and jettisoned across the train or the lunchroom floor. And in bed, they would crash on my face and tumble to the floor. Oh, what troubadours we are - those who read the BOOKS.
Then - the Kindle. Now, with my entire library of 3,700 books contained in a StarTrek size (or more like an etch-a-sketch size) device, I no longer need to backpack it or tote or even make decisions before the hallowed shelves. Before the Kindle, I read about 2 hours a day, maybe three books on the go. However, as an author, I am suppose to read as many hours a day as I write, and I write for four hours a day. With the Kindle, my reading proclivity has risen to the appropriate requirement for a writer. I also have six or seven books on the go. And for a reader who has only one good eye (the other is as dumb as an olive), the Kindle's capability of resurrecting small print to Olympian sizes (and at will), has resurrected my reading life.
But there's more. I can publish on the Kindle, privately to edit on the fly, and publicly in tandem with my print output. But most of all, the Kindle has put me in league with a host of other readers and authors, who have been touched by this Promethean commodity. True, I have a TV and a DVD and a Blackberry and a YouTube capable Computer - BUT the written word can take you to the ends of the earth and the beginnings of the first spark (which last time I looked was called, a Kindle). Just to be able to hold the wealth of the world in your hand is to be given opportunities beyond thinking - an imaginative voyage that doesn't need dusting shelf-space, but just the occasional recharge and new battery. I am never without my Kindle. It is the first thing I pick up in the morning (NY Times) and the last thing I set aside at night (beside my besotted spectacles). And yet, there was life before it. I read before it. I wrote before it. I even got my hands dirty with newsprint before it. However, with it my life is changed - supercharged. It has helped get my thoughts out into the community and it has cloaked me with a bounty of the language's best. What more can there be? Well, one might hope for Hogwarts and Middle Earth to join the ranks Narnia, but even if they don't, I'll find room on that darn shelf that I call a shrine now, for the reticent and the recalcitrant, in a format that is now a viable alternative.
How has the Kindle changed your life?
Edward C. Patterson
author of The Jade Owl
Friday, March 27, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Bobby's Trace (4 1/2 stars - 11 reviewers)
now available on Amazon.com for $ .99 (NINETY-NINE CENTS)
Do ghosts mourn the living? Perry Chaplin is in mourning for his life partner, Bobby - a time of stress, notwithstanding. The more he drifts, the more he becomes unhinged until he's one room short of a rubber one. "Get a grip, Perry." So he takes his chances on a blind date, which further plunges him along the nightmare highway. He gets an unsought lesson in life-after-death that turns his bereavement into a horrific adventure. Come peek through Perry Chaplin's mysterious window. See what there is to see. Enter Our Lady of Perpetual Grace, where the holy water boils and the confessionals whisper. What lurks in the rectory's attic? What lies beneath the surface of life and death? What comes in Bobby's - in Bobby's trace? Do ghosts mourn the living? Perry Chaplin knows. Will you?
Edward C. Patterson
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Homosexuality in China has been regarded variously during its long and eventful history. Unlike in the West, none of China’s traditional religions and philosophy regards homosexuality as a sin. However, in an agrarian Confucian society, there are certain obligations within relationships that homosexuality precludes — procreation being one. Homosexuality is not the only area that has been evaluated in light of fulfilling one’s obligations to produce children. Buddhism has been subject to a similar and, actually greater hostility, until it modulated into its particularly Chinese brand of the religion. During Ancient times (Warring States and Han), homosexuality wasn’t necessarily accepted, but it was broad based enough on the Imperial level that it was hard to ignore. The term "sharing a peach" came into vogue after a young man, Mi Tzi-xia, offered Duke Ling of the State of Wei a partially eaten, but juicy peach as an entrée to a same-sex relationship. More famous, and as such a more widely applied term, came with the young Emperor Ai, the last Western Han Emperor (9 CE), whose male concubine, Tung Xien, was prominent at court. As the Han Histories state it, Tung Xien fell asleep in Ai-tsung’s arms and, rather than disturb his sleep, the Emperor had his robe sleeves cut away in order to depart. This term for homosexual relationships — a "cut sleeve affair" entered into common parlance since.
During the Sung (Song) Dynasty, the period of The Academician, there was ambivalence about "cut-sleeve affairs." In the novel (as it would be in life), Li K’ai-men does his Confucian duty, marries and cohabitates with his wife and produces two sons, as it should be. His male lover, Fu Lin-t’o, finds himself in a strange limbo between Li’s love and his place in the Confucian order of things. He is not discriminated against and becomes part of the household, but still finds prejudices at every turn, even in the feng-shui notions of keeping heaven balanced. The Southern Swallow series is built around the long life of this cut-sleeve affair and its resilience against all odds. Homosexuality, as open and common, reached its zenith during the Ming Dynasty, when the court was as gay as King Frederick of Prussia’s. There was also a brand of same-sex marriage in Fu-ch’ien Province referred to as "Fu-ch’ien Marriages." With the Manchu conquest in 1640 under the Ch’ing (Qing) Dynasty, homosexuality was dealt a blow. Anything suggesting Ming hedony was suppressed by the more conservative conquerors. While the Ch’ing were importing Western cannon and clocks, they also were importing Jesuit views on homosexuality. In 1740, the K’ang-xi Emperor proscribed homosexuality and it was criminalized (not by death, but with strokes with the bamboo rod). There has been much debate as to whether the new laws were enforced. Still, homosexuality was criminalized in China until 1997 and in Hong Kong until the repatriation in 2000.
So from earliest times to the present, China has had a different view of homosexuality than the rest of the world. It was never a wholesale endorsement, but like many other social institutions, it was required to conform to strict societal relationships, which it did better than some other peculiar Chinese dishes like Buddhism (an Indian import). The euphemisms "a cut-sleeve affair" and "sharing a peach" were used in polite reference, not like Western euphemisms (light in the sneakers etc.). One of my aims, amongst others, in authoring The Academician was to develop a tung-xing-lien (companionable relationship – the Chinese word for homosexuality) during a more enlightened age. The novels span between 1124 – 1172 CE, a time when Western civilization was searching through the mud for its sandals and homosexuality was punishable by lighting the fires and burning the sinners.
Edward C. Patterson
Monday, March 2, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRLog (Press Release) – Mar 02, 2009 – The Academician is to be published by the author of The Jade Owl Series, Edward C. Patterson:
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
In Bobby’s Trace, a passionate haunting that blends gay themes, religion, Gilbert & Sullivan and computer programming into an unlikely frolic through the ghost world, I attempt to delight the reader to the extreme. The action belays the clues, which are processed, but dismissed as common elements — much like sleight of hand employed in a magician’s act. This misdirection can be attributed to Bobby’s Trace’s origins. It began life as a one-act farce in three scenes. It had nothing ghostly about it except the tenuous hold of the protagonist’s dead lover. In fact, the play had the unlikely title An Outing in the Wilderness, the main action laid across the humorous conflict of the programmer and the priest (not unlike the Princess and the Pea). I found the premise, amusing as a play, not as humorous in prose. Enter (stage right) Bobby — first as a mild Blithe Spirit presence, and then as a fully developed ghost stuck between the worlds. Then as I developed Bobby’s character, the work changed. The pathos of poor Bobby and his magnetic eyes — the beauty of his youth and the tragedy of his early death was impetus to something far greater than the romp between programmer and priest. The illogic of a fantasy world — a spirit universe married by the very act of mourning — so powerful that both the mourned and the mournful could dwell in it to the point where it becomes unclear whether the living mourn the dead or the dead mourn life, emerged. Now this were a-boilin’, transforming a light gay coming-out comedy into a griping, terrifying ghost mystery complete with a signature gut-wrenching ending.
Creating a satisfying mystery — one that delivers on its promise, is to enter a partnership with the reader — to help the reader search for the clues, and then, push them off in another direction. Agatha Christie loved to employ these red herrings in her books. The trick is to not let the fish smell too much like fish. Many readers of Bobby’s Trace have told me that they loved re-reading it just to find out where they went wrong — sort of sniffing for the fish in the corners. When I hear that, my day is always made, because it means that I have fulfilled my author’s motto — From my mind to your imagination . . .
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1434893960 (Paperback)http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00150Z5HC (Kindle)
Edward C. Patterson
Monday, February 16, 2009
by Edward C. Patterson
One might think that to pop in a compelling character like Simone DeFleurry — a drag queen, into a fantasy adventure like The Jade Owl is a simple matter of adding spice to a story. However, nothing could be further from the truth. If an author is to entice a reader with developing character arc, such "devices," rarely work except on reruns of Murder She Wrote. Simone, who has consistently been reckoned by my readers as their favorite character, is never too far away from that other persona — Simon Geldfarb. When I decided that a principle character would be a chanteuse of note, I sorted out my own experiences concerning drag queens. To the outer world, and even the inner, drag queens are men dressed as women, outrageously over the top and something of an entertainment perk, representing the Gay male community at Gay Pride Parades. Nothing could be further from the truth. That most cross dressers are heterosexual men who glam about in their wives bras and undies is a statistical fact (I allude to it in The Jade Owl). Simone DeFleurry is a charmer — a fashion plate and a walking encyclopedia on good taste and manners. He provides Nick Battle with love and companionship as part of the double-barreled mailbox label "Geldfarb-Battle." His view of problems are often so direct, the others miss the obvious until the poignant Miss DeFleurry points the way. Simone manages some glorious feats of bravery throughout the series with swagger and posh.
When I began writing The Jade Owl, my vision of drag queens was narrow — shallow. To pepper the story with one or two could have been misconstrued as pushing stereotypes, and that would never do. I therefore opted to sit down and get to know some drag queens. It’s odd that, having degrees in Sinology, I needed little additional research into Chinese culture. Being Gay, one would think that every gay man knows the inner soul of a drag queen. WRONG. Being honest — telling my interviewees that I wanted to capture the true essence of who they were, was a bold thing to ask. I was surprised to discovered a sub-culture beneath a sub-culture that was beautiful — rich and rare. Very human, and in Simone’s own words — "I am as much a man as you are, only packaged differently." The aspects of the people beneath the boas and high heels astounded me. After all, it was the drag queens that had the bravery to start the whole Stone Wall Revolution that began the modern Gay & Lesbian Activist Movement. There were no yelling and screaming Act Up bravos then; just a fiery brace of drag queens, who demanded their rights. Simone DeFleurry represents that brand of fire — the beautiful home hearth that lights the way to a natural and normalized way of life — one that gives Nick Battle the embodiment of a father/mother/wife. One that holds the candle high for Rowden Gray, so he might grow into his own acceptance of things different. In fact, for the reader — who should feel more uncomfortable when Simone dresses as Simon Geldfarb, complete with a yellow lemon tie than when he wears his favorite red polka-dot sun dress. The sadness of Simon as opposed to the lilt of Simone is crucial.
An essential requirement for me as the author of the Jade Owl Legacy Series was to make the reader forget that the story has a drag queen amongst its stars. By the third book, The Dragon’s Pool, Simone DeFleurry is a vessel that can hold even a greater responsibility — graduating to motherhood. However, since number three in the series will not hit the streets until May, I’ll say no more.
Edward C. Patterson
The Jade Owl Legacy SeriesThe Jade Owl http://www.amazon.com/dp/1440447977The Third Peregrination http://www.amazon.com/dp/1441456724and coming soon The Dragon’s Pool, The People’s Treasure and In the Shadow of Her Hem Also coming soon, an adjunct series Southern Swallow (In Three Parts)The Academician(mid-March), Swan Cloud, and The House of Green Waters
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
The garland of Rowden Gray is a notion that we all weave, like Wagner’s Norns, yielding precise measurements for life and time. However, this is a western notion. The Chinese have no such measurement. Time is illusive, and even death is a mere wall between two states. Therefore, the real challenge for Professor Gray as he leads the various followers, first in The Jade Owl and subsequently in The Third Peregrination, is to cut the stringency of the garland and let the rosebuds fly as they may. Not until he immerses himself in the randomness of it all does he come to understand the true nature of The Jade Owl and the triad that it forms with elemental nature and a curious set of earth events that other characters will study to the geologic and paleontologic depths, discovering the tick-tockings of this most curious bird.
As an aside, I chose the rosebud/gather ye reference as a homage to my own gene pool — how egoist is that? My grandmother was Hilda Herrick, a direct descendant of Robert Herrick, my ancestor who crafted that line as advice to virgins. Go figure.
The Jade Owl http://www.amazon.com/dp/1440447977
The Third Peregrination http://www.amazon.com/dp/1441456724
Sunday, January 25, 2009
The Third Peregrination by Edward C. Patterson
The world is on the brink, now that the relics flow together again. The new China Hands should have left the Jade Owl in the tomb, to fester silently for another age, but they didn't. Now there is a tapping in the basement and a flowering of new relics, all seeking to move Curator-General Rowden Gray and his crew into the field again to solve the mystery of The Seven Sisters. However, the world has changed since Rowden managed his first task. The new China Hands are sucked into the maelstrom of time, flowing together with the relics, now that the world is at the brink.
Rowden Gray and Nicholas Battle, joined by three new stalwarts in pursuit of the next level in the triad, find a fortress in a mystery deeper than the first warrant, something that compels them to return to China and unravel a more difficult truth - one that challenges them beyond time's membrane. This second book in the Jade Owl Legacy Series pushes the new China Hands to the world’s brink - now that the relics flow together again."
Come, continue reading the journey or dip into the first book: The Jade Owl
Edward C. PattersonDancaster Creative
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
It should come as no surprise that this trip broke the libretto pattern. No more unproduced operas. The world was a real place and it intruded. Suddenly, I wanted to document every inch of travel — every town, street, population stat and Civil War battlefield, of which I saw too many. The people I met, became characters — from my traveling companions to Reverand Abernathy (Reverand King, alas was in Los Angeles quelling riots). But when I touched pen to paper, I probably should have use Charmin. Nothing worked. Crisis. Disillusion. I couldn't capture it all, so I captured nothing. I needed those lunetic birds and their silly quartets. I became more a reader than a writer — Dickens with a capital D. Melville with a capital M for Moby. The dark writers, Hardy, Conrad and Dostoevsky. The father of the modern Novel, Jane Austen. And then the magical books — Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. In fact, 1963 was the first of forty or more reads of The Lord of the Rings. I must say, I have never stopped reading it. The Road Goes Forever On.
Dickens, however lit my writing fire. He showed me how characters could pop up like asparagus and be recycled like mulch. His stories were compelling, towering over me like Marley's ghost. I jotted notes for a Dickensian style Road Trip Novel, something involving a trip to the Southern US and 'cross country (go figure), but set in 19th Century America. A competition, perhaps, but with an orphan — definitely an orphan (Please sir, I want some more). Soon there was a character, Denny Danville. (There was this cute guy in Home Room named Denny). Denny was the long lost son of some Rockefeller look-alike, but doesn't know it, needs cash to marry sweet Mary Wimper, daughter of a Hearstian newspaper mogul, so he joins the flocks of the challenged in a cross country bicycle race. He falls on hard times (and his ass). He meets a group of Twainian rogues, who force him to rob a bank. He races over the Rockies barefooted on a bike of dubious authenticity and, of course, wins the race, the hand of Ms. Wimper and, because an old Indian woman recognizes a silver broach that she gave a wealthy debutante she once nursed back to health, Denny Danville becomes Denny Bartholemew, son of banker Rance Bartholemew of the Brooklyn Bartholomews.
I drafted, outlined and even systematized Denny Danville for a good part of a year. It was a bumpy year for my old upright typewriter. The more I stretched the plot, the less the story held. I had a great opening, a sympethetic central scene and here and there an ending, but (no surprise) Denny Danville never materialized, except in bits and chapters and outlines. I even considered updating the tale to the 20th Century and give Denny some civil rights work. Unfortunately, I am a creature of the 19th Century and have never felt at home in the 20th. I'm doing better in the 21st, but my next turn of creativity brought me out of all centuries. Next up, I meet Voltaire and his incredibly optomistic creation, Candide. Still with me folks? I hope so.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I was a budding Opera queen. I was taken totally by the Opera The Mikado. It was the beginning of a full life devoted to the world of Gilbert & Sullivan, and beyond. Sullivan was the attraction, but soon W.S. Gilbert was my first mentor, leading me to a world of words that swarmed from the hive and over my mind and hands and typewriter.Rachely was a forceful drama about a fictional Queen of Babylon, who lost her throne and love (and her virginity) over a libretto that chortled in broken cuneiform and a ridiculous rewrite of history. I barely knew where Babylon was, except for the Hanging Gardens and all them fig trees. Still, there was a Chorus of Bablyonian courtiers that would have felt at home in my High School music class.
Better than drama was tragedy —The Death of a Redstart, which engaged a troop of birds, all types, but particularly a Redstart named Petitius (pronounced Pet-teet-tee-yus). Why a Redstart would have a Latin name is less curious than why a Redstart would be a tenor in an all bird Opera. Well, if it was good enough for Aristophanes, why not me? (BTW, I saw The Birds last year and it wasn't good enough for the old Greek). To this day, I can sing portions of the Love Duet: "Petitius, I lo-o-ove you." The tune has haunted me for my entire life. As for The Pirates of Galicia, which I thought was somewhere in Spain (probably landlocked; but if it was good enough for Shakespeare . . .), it reflected my exposure to The Pirates of Penzance. The rousing chorus "Men of the Sea, De-de-de-dee, De-de-de-dee!" was sure to bring the opening night audience to its feet (or the men in white coats to my seat). This array of libretti sailed from fingers and mind for three years, unabated. At first blush, you might be blushing, but even this excursion contributed to the creative forces that would shape my future writing. As bad as the poetry was, it was rhythmic enough to jolt me into the repetitive sonorities that naturally flow now from my pen. "I got rhythm! I got music!"
It was during this time that I developed this important facet. I also worshipped (and still do) at W. S. Gilbert's sarcastic throne. It will come as no surprise that even in my novel The Jade Owl, I have one character (a bureaucratic type) say: "Due economy must be observed," a direct quote from Pooh-bah in The Mikado. I also merit Gilbert with my interest in things Oriental. When I first came to study East Asian History and Culture, years later, I came through Japan instead of China, where I earned my meat and potatoes.
So Gilbert and Opera (I started attending The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music about this time with the aim - my parent's aim too - to become the next Jussi Bjoerling) gave my typewriter a new and inventive twist. I created worlds that didn't exist and became emotionally charged with characters that should have remained dead, both my own and others. Dickens crept into my reading. Shakespeare trickled. Disney tickled (Old Yeller). So, "if you want to know who we are, we are Gentlemen of Japan." The only regret I have is that I lost the folder with all my wonderful libretti in them. I would love to sing them again in the quiet hours between revising the mega-tomes I craft today.
Next up (If you'e up to it?) — Road Trip! Until then, I'm on a frozen pond whistling "Petitius I lo-o-ove you. Wu wu wu Wu wu wu wu-wu."
Edward C. Patterson
Saturday, January 10, 2009
It began when my grandmother gave me an old upright typewriter for my birthday, many years ago . . . a half century at least . . . and thereby hangs my taleI had a typewriter, and I had fingers, so therefore I was a writer . . . a twelve year old writer. My imagination went wild, straight off a cliff in fact. I sat in front of the infamous white page and told my first story. It was a tale about a Boy Scout camping trip filled with campfires and ghost stories and a friend, who when scared from his tent during a prank, ran in the wrong direction — right off a cliff. Of course, he's stranded on a convenient ledge until my father was able to lower himself down to save him. Thrills. Chills.The major problem with this story, which I term my first novel, was it wasn't fiction. It actually happened. I didn't even bother to change the names of the characters. The only thing I continually changed was the title. Prank. and Campfire Dares. When I think back, it was dreadful. I even managed to use a curse word — not the fabled, hallowed F word, but the S word (and with boyish glee).
I often think about that first work. Falling Downward. (How many ways can one do it?). Boy Scout Daze. (Gimme a break). It had some elements that I maintained for years . . . bad spelling, awful grammar and a penchant for contrivance. Still, a book about young men in the wild did strike a good first note. I've written reams about young men in various states of wild since. What lingered was the three staples binding the proscribed novel into something tangible; something wrought from nothing. That has always stayed with me. Afterall, isn't that the first lesson we learn when we create, that we create. Prior to the thought, there were no words, no tale, not even the typewriter, which my sainted grandmother saddled me with all those years ago, like a commission from one generation to another.
What was I to do? I did what any twelve year old nancy boy with a typewriter could do. I declared my novel a resounding success and aimed my typewriter at creating librettos for imaginary operas. I dug in and built a new Babylon, rewrote history in my mind and animated a kingdom of birds (that twittered duets and trios even). To hell with football! (with boyish glee).
Shall I tell you more? I think I will . . . next time.
Edward C. Patterson
Friday, January 2, 2009
Rowden Gray and Nicholas Battle, joined by three new stalwarts in pursuit of the next level in the triad, find a fortress in a deeper mystery than the first warrant, something that compels them to return to China and unravel a more difficult truth — one that challenges them beyond time’s membrane. This second book in the Jade Owl Legacy Series pushes the new China Hands to the world’s brink — now that the relics flow together again.