Category: Blog Hop

I’m on a Blog Tour! I forgot about it! Let me remind you, and entertain you …

Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem (Bloodsong 2)

Holy macaroni! I’ve been on a blog tour for most of this month and forgot to let anyone know about it. Let’s fix that.

Book being toured is Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem. Mogollon tells the story of the richest man in the world meeting a great (maybe the greatest) Native American shaman. It’s book 2 of the Bloodsong Series and rocks. One reviewer (who gave it 5 stars) said: “This book is equal parts horror, spiritual, romance, and action. From page one, it is non-stop, a page turner that leaves you on the edge of your seat, seeing where it’s going next. It follows not just Will on his journey, but many connections develop as Will and his team begin becoming inseparably linked with several of the Native American warriors and attendees. Nathan does an amazing job depicting the cultural and spiritual aspects of the story in a very respectful way, which as a reader, I really respected. I also just loved her turn of phrase, and many times I just said, “YES!” out loud at the great way she chose to describe something that otherwise could be mundane, or has been described the same way for centuries. Nathan has a voice all her own and it’s powerful.”

That get’s the gist of it. The blog tour. Here are links to my tour stops, showing you can forget the battle, but still post the war. Or something like that.

Here’s the whole tour, with links to blog posts, many of which are done. Finished. I’ll put links to those below and fill in the ones that have yet to be posted.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Visionary Fantasy.
[Amazon calls me "metaphysical fantasy or sci-fi". Whatever. I've been called everything from sci-fi, to romance, to horror. SN]

Rating – R  [Truly R. SN]

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Sandy Nathan through Facebook & Twitter 
[I never look at Twitter. Stick to Facebook.]

Website http://sandynathan.com/
[I have an awesome new site in addition to the one above: http://sandynathan.net It's interactive! SN]

Book Review Status
[The tour says this is a non review tour, but you can review Mogollon if you want. I won't mind.

Here's the link! Sandy Nathan

Book Tour Schedule

10th April – Book Feature at Peace from Pieces 
[Can't find it there. Here's something they did onThe Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy a while back. SN]

11th April –Excerpt 1 at Mommy Adventures
[Here's Grandfather's Invocation from Mogollon. This starts the book off with a bang and introduces you to Grandfather.  SN]

12th April – Author Interview 1 at The Reading Cat
[In which I share about my family and other things. Including the true story of how my mom & dad got together. SN]

13th April - Twitter View with OB Book Tours

14th April - Twitter Blast with OB Book Tours

15th April - OB Tweet Me A Storm
[Just try to find these later! SN]

16th April - Guest Post 1 at Blog-A-Licious Authors
[My thoughts on how to buy a good self-pubbed book. SN]

17th April – Excerpt 2 at Author’s Friend
[Chapter 1 of Mogollon, in which you get to meet Will Duane, the richest man in the world. Like an introduction to Bill Gates, almost. SN]

18th April – Excerpt 3 at Gentleman Reads
[Ahah! This is where Enzo Donatore appears. The devil incarnate. A story isn't complete until the bad guy shows up.
Hi, Gentlemen Reads! Love writing for guys, and they usually love my stuff. SN]

MORE TO COME:

25th April – Guest Post at Kindle Nook Books

2nd May – Guest Post & Excerpt at Book Professor

9th May – Excerpt & Guest Post at Top Shelf Books

16th May -

23rd May – OB Tweet Me A Storm

30th May – Guest Post & Book Feature at Quality Reads UK

 

 

Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money – Silicon Valley’s Corporate Culture Meets a Great Shaman and his People

Have you heard of Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money? You might have. Back in 2009 when it came out,  Numenon was Amazon Kindle’s #1 ranked title in three categories of mysticism for about a year. It cruised around the 1,500th level of Kindle sales, which is phenomenal. I did nothing to promote the book and really didn’t think its performance was anything special. Until it was over.

Now I feel about Numenon the way I feel about all those pictures of myself that weren’t taken when I was young and beautiful. “I only I’d known what would happen . . .” Alas, no time for whining.

I’d like to introduce you to Numenon for the first time, or the second or even third. The fastest way to do it is like this:

Numenon  is the story of a group of people trying to reach their authentic selves, and God. Its characters include the richest man in the world, Will Duane, and a great Native shaman known as Grandfather. The contingent from Numenon, Inc. travel to a retreat given by the shaman in the New Mexico desert. Many things happen as the team makes its way to the retreat site, a supernatural place which is probably the greatest power spot on the planet. Evil strikes when they’re most vulnerable.

Even with all the hoopla and action, the book is essentially about people seeking to fill the aching void in their hearts with something real.

I’ve written about Numenon in other articles, but I want to talk about new things.  Some of these things are pretty obvious, but no one’s asked about them. I also want to show you how it feels to hang out with top Stanford and Harvard MBAs (Master’s in Business Administration), a shaman, and the richest man on earth.

First off, where did I get that hard to pronounce, weird title? What does numenon (or noumenon) mean? It’s the thing-in-itself, reality beyond the material world. We can never know the numenon. All we can know is what comes in through the senses. Our reality is limited to our brains’ interpretation of incoming nerve impulses. We cannot get to the world as it is.  Ever. Immanuel Kant laid out the problem in 1783 with The Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics.

Why is this important? It’s the Western equivalent of what Eastern philosophy––Hinduism and Buddhism and other schools of thought––has said forever: the world we live in is an illusion.

Why did Will Duane pick Numenon as the name of his corporation? He’s showing that he’s intellectual, and hip. Also, he has close to a major in philosophy as an undergraduate, a course of study that saved  his life, as it did mine. He’s interested in the numenon, which we can only infer, and its opposite, the phenomenon, experienced reality, with which we’re stuck.

What’s that image on the cover of Numenon? It is based on the Shiva Nataraj, the Dancing Shiva. Shiva is one of the Hindu trinity, the part representing destruction, but which also has a powerful creative backwash. Shiva is also the all-pervasive aspect of God, existing always and everywhere.

Numenon’s founder and CEO, Will Duane, chose the Shiva Nataraj as his corporation’s logo. Numenon is the largest and most powerful corporation in history, named after a difficult philosophical concept. Its icon is the face of God.

We’re not talking about reality TV or game shows here. I write for grown-ups, about big issues. And I don’t write like a girl. I’d give Numenon an R rating if it were a movie.

Numenon won six national awards. Winning the Silver Nautilus in the Bicultural Category was a thrill. The Nautilus Award acknowledges superior books making a contribution to world peace and the evolution of consciousness. People like the Dalai Lama have won it. The Silver Medal in the IPPY Awards (Independent Press Awards) was also a thrill. Thousands of books were entered. Numenon won the Silver Medal in the Visionary Fiction category. The wins in Best Books and Indie Excellence were also thrilling. Numenon won in multiple categories in these awards: Visionary Fiction, Religious Fiction, and Multicultural Fiction.


THE STORY:

Numenon is about the richest man in the world going to a spiritual retreat held by a great Native American shaman.  The book is essentially the Native world juxtaposed against Silicon Valley. It’s a search for God and meaning. The story could easily degenerate into a stereotyped tale about the good, spiritual Natives vs. greedy, bad corporate people. It doesn’t.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE TWO CULTURES REPRESENTED IN Numenon. WE’LL START WITH SILICON VALLEY. I know most about that. I was born in San Francisco and lived in the heart of what became the Valley most of my life: in the towns/cities of Palo Alto, Cupertino, Atherton, and Woodside.

Numenon’s hero is the richest man in the world. Do you know any extremely successful people––those who made the money themselves? They’re a little different than regular folks.  I haven’t met Bill Gates or any of the planet’s economic luminaries. I have met my dad. He rose from a penniless immigrant to the owner to the 9th largest residential construction company in the US in its heyday. People do not attain that kind of success because they’re lazy or stupid.

My dad moved as fast as a human being can go, dancing on a razor’s edge. He was brilliant, disciplined, and way beyond hard working. Explosive. Demanding. As inspiring as any minister. He had visions prophetic dreams–he wouldn’t call them that, but I  knew what they were when he talked about them. The image of the soulless businessman is incorrect.

What was it like living with him? Like having Secretariat in the kitchen. Thrilling and terrifying.

Will Duane is based somewhat on my dad, and on many other men I knew when I lived in Silicon Valley. He’s not an unusual type, though I think my presentation is unusual in that I present spirituality in a businessman. It shows up differently than it would in a meditation master, but it’s there.

I WAS ASKED HOW I WOULD CAST THE BOOK IF IT WERE MADE INTO A MOVIE.

Starting with the Silicon Valley side:

Ed Harris as Will Duane, the Richest Man in the World

I’d put Ed Harris  in for Will Duane, CEO and founder of Numenon. Ed Harris has the intensity and intelligence, as well as acting ability, to play someone as  powerful, and tormented as Will Duane. I will never forget the visceral pain of Harris’s performance as a gay man dying of AIDs in The Hours.

Will’s staff: Will goes to the Native retreat in a caravan of matched RVs, including his own million-dollar motor home. Over-the-top is the Numenon way. He brings a professional and support staff to the retreat, including a world-class chef. “The Best of the Best: That’s Numenon.”

Will only hires first-in-their-class MBAs (Master’s of Business Administration) from top graduate schools for his personal staff. Do you know what it means to be first in your class at the Harvard Business School or the Stanford Graduate School of Business?

Think Secretariat on speed. You have to be around a major graduate school to feel the intensity, intelligence and competitive drive.

Actually, to get the feel of Silicon Valley, go here: Buck’s of Woodside. Literally go there, for breakfast. Buck’s is a zany restaurant in the laid back and incredibly wealthy Town of Woodside.. The elite of the tech world––venture capitalists or VCs–– meet at Buck’s for breakfast; the action is over at 9AM. Netscape and I don’t know how many other tech firms were created over oatmeal and coffee at Buck’s. I walked in one morning and felt like the turkey we deep-fried last Thanksgiving when it hit the oil. Zapped and sizzling. I’m surprised no one was levitating. A geek sat at every table. Laptops were required, ties were not. Everyone had a deal going down. If you can get to Buck’s, be sure and steal the menu. It’s hysterical. Say hi to Jamis McGiven, the owner, for me. We’re old friends. You gotta feel the vibe to get the Valley.

More on what top business schools and their denizens are like: I was in the doctoral program at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business once (“the year I almost got an ulcer”). One of my fellow doctoral students had been first in his Stanford MBA class before deciding to get a PhD. Really nice guy. He’ll probably take over the world one day.

Hillary Swank as Melissa Weir

That’s the kind of person I’m describing when I say Hillary Swank could play Melissa Weir, the Harvard MBA who is Will Duane’s protégé. Melissa’s achievement in school and at Numenon is astonishing. Hillary is smart, intense, and a super actress. Plus after playing in Million Dollar Baby, she could knock the bad buys into the next county, just like Melissa.

Choosing a photo of Hillary as Melissa was tricky. Most of the photos show her partially undressed and looking sexy, or beat black and blue as in Million Dollar Baby. Your typical top-of-her-class Harvard MBA might go around partially undressed, but not during working hours. She might feel as though she’d been beaten, but most likely, it wouldn’t show. Stuff that happens in boardrooms may hurt, but it won’t leave bruises. I chose the picture of Hillary Swank above because it has that racehorse at top speed. That’s Melissa Weir.

Russell Crowe as Doug Saunders

Russell Crowe would do well as Doug Saunders, Will’s hatchet man and the corporate bad boy. Doug was top of his MBA class at Stanford and has adapted to the Numenon code, which is something like, “If you can screw it, do it.”

Jon Walker––Will Duane's Private Chef

Jon Walker is Will Duane’s private chef, “the best chef in the world.” Numenon culture requires that he be the best. Although he looks about twelve years old in the photo, Jon graduated from Le Condon Bleu in Paris, learning culinary technique as well as restaurant and hospitality management. He cooked at top restaurants in New York, Paris, and San Francisco before working for Will Duane. During Numenon, Jon is grieving the death of his soul mate, ‘Rique Maldonado, a top San Francisco interior designer. ‘Rique died of AIDs.

I’m shining the spotlight on Jon  because he has a major role in the Bloodsong Series. I’ve just completed drafts to two books in which he is a main character.

WHAT ABOUT THE NATIVE AMERICAN SIDE?

Grandfather by Lily Nathan

Grandfather, the shaman who is the heart of Numenon and the whole Bloodsong Series, is impossible to cast. I’ve had the good fortune to study with two meditation masters and a tai chi master. I did this over a long time––about thirty years, all told. When I got within ten feet of  my first meditation master, my brain would bliss out so that I couldn’t think. People in the meditation hall (including me) routinely had experiences similar to those in the Bible. Visions, raptures, prophetic knowledge. Love overflowed in every direction. The experiences I had in long­­––all night, sometimes––chants were so intensely pleasurable that I can imagine nothing better, including everything.

What is being with these giants of humanity like? The lift off factor is amazing. If you don’t get a contact high from them, they’re not the real thing. Any actor playing Grandfather should be able to project the ecstasy so that viewers feel it. He’s not just a cute old guy.

I used the painting of Grandfather above as an indication of what Grandfather might look like. The painting is by Lily Nathan, my daughter.

When I was writing Numenon,  I modeled Joseph Bishop––the name given to Grandfather by white people in the Indian Schools––after the spiritual masters I have known.

I apparently nailed him. One person who had studied with a Native shaman told me, “You really got the shaman. The man I studied with was exactly like that.” I’ve also had Native Americans tell me, “I want to study with Joseph Bishop.” Sorry, he doesn’t exist.

While a number of actors could portray people from  Silicon Valley, no actor could portray  Grandfather and his Power.

OTHER NATIVE AMERICAN CHARACTERS: Four thousand people attend the retreat. All but ten are Natives.  Many casting opportunities exist. I’ll pick a few.

Wesley Silverhorse has a small part in Numenon. His part is larger in Mogollon, Numenon’s sequel, and keeps going through the rest of the Bloodsong Series. But he could have a one-line part and take over the book. He’s that spectacular.

Wesley Silverhorse is an archetype. The word “archetype” derives from the Greek and Latin, meaning  “beginning, origin” and “pattern, model, type.” An archetype is the pattern for a certain type of human being. Many archetypes exist. The earth mother, seductress, child, hero, martyr, wise old man/woman, warrior, mentor, and trickster are archetypes. Oh, yeah, the devil, aka Satan, is an archetype.

The easiest way to explain archetypes is to tell a story. Numenon has been around in draft form since 1995. The character Wesley Silverhorse popped into my mind early on. He is an archetype known as: The Babe. He’s gorgeous. As the Hero, he’s also kind, and smart, empathetic,  brave, and as spiritually adept as most saints. He’s an unbeatable Warrior. Because of his spiritual Powers, the People believe he will be Grandfather’s successor. He is so good looking that even old ladies like me swoon imagining his comely form.

Wesley Silverhorse became a fixture in my family’s life. If I was driving with my daughters and saw a fantastic looking, maybe Native, guy, I’d shout out, “Whoa! Is he Wesley?” The girls would respond, “Nah, that guy back on University Ave. was better.”

This developed into a code. A man could be “half a Wesley” or a “quarter of a Wesley.” We never got a full Wesley, no one could be that good-looking, but the search was fun. It was a great way to bond with my daughters. Try it with your kids.

The point being that Wesley can’t exist in the real world. Nothing is as glowing as the contents of consciousness, and Wesley is that––the construction of my subconscious. (A note about this. Archetypes can be dangerous. They are mesmerizing, and very powerful psychologically. If you find someone who looks like Wesley and toss your hubbie of thirty years in a lust-flavored rush, that is almost certainly a mistake.)

So, who would I cast as Wesley Silverhorse? I started by doing basic research, Googling Beautiful Native American Men. This search provided many tantalizing possibilities. Check it out. Everyone needs inspiration.

I quickly settled on (drumroll . . .) Rick Mora. You’ll see him all over (and see pretty much all of him) on his website and the Beautiful Native American Men search. He comes about as close to the fictitious Wesley Silverhorse as I can imagine. (In the interest of scholarly investigation, I will keep looking, of course.)

The only person in the world better looking than Wesley Silverhorse is his younger brother, Benny. Rick Mora could play him, too. (I chose the photo below with a horse peeking out because Wesley & Benny Silverhorse are superb horsemen. Being raised on a ranch in Wyoming will do that.)

Rick Mora

Exceptionally beautiful people face a problem: objectification. Admirers turn them into collections of body parts and take away their essence. Beautiful people have many qualities in addition to their looks: moral principles,  feelings, values, will, drive, intelligence, loyalty, love, fidelity and many other talents and attributes.  Those who focus on looks alone miss all that and reduce human beings to objects. A loss for everyone.

Traditionally, women have been objectified most: Marilyn Monroe and all the Playboy centerfolds. Now men are being objectified by women. Jon Hamm (the astonishingly good-looking star of Mad Men) has complained of this. Here’s an article about it (Don’t be shocked. This article has some pretty explicit discussion. It’s also funny.)

I’m sorry, Mr. Mora, if I have objectified you. I’d like to invite readers to check out his web site. He’s involved with a number of causes and is way more than a pretty face.

Other Native American cast membersThe characters go on and on––this book would be a Native American actors’ Stimulus Package if made into a film. (I’d settle for a mini-series like Game of Thrones . . .)

Sacheen Littlefeather

Elizabeth Bright Eagle, MD, MPH is one of the most important characters in the book. Dr. Bright Eagle is an internationally respected physician and philanthropist. The only things she can do better than heal are shoot and ride. Elizabeth was born and raised on her family’s cattle ranch in southeastern Oregon. She’s my kind of heroine.

Actress Sacheen Littlefeather attained notice when she turned town the Academy Award on behalf of Marlon Brando. Brando was protesting the treatment of Native Americans in films. I think she’d make a great Elizabeth.

 

 

 

Adam Beach as Bud Creeman

Bud Creeman is another of my favorite characters. Constantly underrated by everyone but Grandfather, Bud saves the day. He has a lovely sweetness and essential kindness. Adam Beach could to this role. Unfortunately, to play Bud, he’d have to gain forty pounds and age  fifteen years.



 

 

 

Wes Studi

 

Wes Studi could play a few parts. He’s got all the intensity of Ed Harris. Wes could play Dr. Tyler Brand, the very cool Native American professor and spirit warrior. Or Paul Running Bird, Mr. Sleaze.

 

 

 

 

Tantoo Cardinal

Tantoo Cardinal


Tantoo Cardinal could play Leona Brand, Tyler Brand’s politician wife.

 

 

 

 

 

Irene Bedard

Irene Bedard

 

Irene Bedard should be in the film just because she’s beautiful. She could play half a dozen parts.

 

 

 

 

 

We talked about Wesley Silverhorse being an archetype. Do other archetypes show up? All the characters I’ve discussed are archetypes. There’s another big one: When you’re talking about ultimate good, what arises in response? Ultimate evil. What’s that? The Dark Lord, Satan.

The only thing I like better than writing good guys is writing bad guys. The writing starts to sizzle when the villain appears. The Dark Lord has a bit part in Numenon and a major part in Mogollon, its sequel. Which I’m working on . . .

That’s it. If you want to buy the book, you can get it on Amazon as a hardback or a Kindle version. The hardback is beautiful. You can also get the hardback from me for less than half of what Amazon’s charging.

 Here’s the book on my web site, which talks about Numenon’s six national awards and what reviewers and experts have said about it.

Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money

Why am I telling you this? Because NUMENON’S sequel,  MOGOLLON: A TALE OF MYSTICISM & MAYHEM, is coming. You might as well  read NUMENON so you’ll be up to speed when all hell really breaks loose.

SANDY’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

LINKS TO SANDY’S SIX BOOKS!
They range from wild sci-fi to adorable children’s nonfiction. You’ll find something you’ll like in the list below:

  • NUMENON,  a novel about the richest man in the world meeting a great Native American shaman
  • STEPPING OFF THE EDGE, a modern day spiritual companion
  • TECOLOTE, the adorable kids’ book about a baby horse.
  • EARTH’S END––the new, three book sci-fi/fantasy/visionary series that takes you to the end of the world, and beyond.
    The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy––Tomorrow morning, a nuclear holocaust will destroy all life on Earth. Only two people can stop it: a sixteen-year-old tech genius and revolutionary and an angelic visitor from another planet.
    Lady Grace––The radiation has cleared. A few survivors make it back to Piermont Manor to start a new life. What they face is a battle more deadly than any they’ve fought. Right away they learn that evolution can work for evil as well as good.
    The Headman & the Assassin––He knew her job was murder––murdering people that is. Sam Baahuhd had been the village headman for 22 years when a nuclear holocaust forces him and the ninety plus other villagers into an underground bomb shelter. When Sam carries a naked stranger into the shelter minutes before the bombs go off, he has no idea that she will set his life on fire.

 

Blog-hop––A Blog Tour for Readers and Lovers of Fantasy, Visionary Fiction, and Sci-fi

Sandy Nathan, Award-winning Author, and Tecolote

Are you ready for a literary journey bringing writers of my favorite genres––fantasy, visionary fiction, and sci-fi––into contact with readers of those genres? The participating authors on this hop have been given a series of questions to answer. As you read our answers, you will get a deeper look at our writing/personal processes and personalities. You’ll come to know us better.

If you comment on our posts, we can get to know you better.

To start things off, a big SHOUT  OUT to ELENI PAPANOU, who invited me to participate in this Blog Hop. (Click previous sentence to got her her blog hop page.) Eleni is a wonderful writer of Visionary and Science Fiction. You can read an excerpt of Eleni’s Unison here. You can purchase her book Unison (The Spheral) by clicking here.

Another shout out to my friends and fellow members of the Visionary Fiction Alliance. If you go to the blog you can find all sorts of information about Visionary Fiction, including definitions of the genre by different people, articles, excerpts from books. Lots. Go Visionaries!

LINKS TO BLOGS OF PARTICIPATING AUTHORS FOLLOW:  Clicking on the links below will introduce you to them, giving you new  literary and personal adventures. You may fall in love. I’ll be adding to links as the authors report in.

TUI ALLEN,  author of Ripple.Tui’s website. Tui’s blog

ALEX SUMNER, author of  How To Cast A Love Spell, a novella in the series The Demon Detective, and other stories. Alex’s Blog Post

I’LL PLUNGE IN WITH MY STORY. I’M SANDY NATHAN. I’ve got six books in print. Between them, they’ve won twenty-four national awards, and have garnered 55 or so five star reviews on Amazon. Here are my answers to the questions:

1. WHAT IS THE WORKING TITLE OF YOUR BOOK OR PROJECT?

Here we run into our first problem with standardized questions. Or maybe my first problem with standardization. I don’t fit in a box and neither does my work. It is quirky and I am quirky. OK. The working title of WHICH book or project? 

At the moment, I’m working on five or so projects. Top priority is the editing of the sequel to my multi-award winning novel, Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money. Numenonis the story of the richest man in the world meeting a great Native American shaman. Numenon is the first book of the Bloodsong Series, Bloodsong 1.

Its sequel, Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem, has been written in draft form since 1995. Eighteen years of pounding the keyboard. Mogollon has been the hardest project of my life, and it’s coming to a very satisfactory conclusion. Which will allow me to finish the next book in the series, which will probably be titled  Phenomenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Miracles. (The series is about mysticism  and its juxtaposition with life in the material world. Numenon was the top ranked book in mysticism on Amazon for about a year.)

My other works in progress include Assassin for the Dark Lord and Forsaken for the Witch’s Love. I just finished the draft manuscripts for these sci-fi adventure/love stories. The are ready to go to my editor. These rolled out of my brain as easily as Mogollon tore up my guts. They mark a new level of freedom of expression and incorporate characters that would make my literature-professor mentor croak. In other words, they are really fun. These books are unfortunately Bloodsong 5 & 6, so it will be a while before I spring them on you. (I’ve got to get Bloodsong 2 through 4 in print.)

My other work in progress has been working with a designer to retitle and put new covers on the three books of my sci-fi series, Earth’s End. I’ll post the new covers. They’re linked to the current books. (Interiors are the same between editions.)  Pretty cool transformation, huh? I’m working on a splashy release for the retitled books.

The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy
Lady Grace &  the War for a New World
The Headman & the Assassin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. WHERE DID THE IDEA FOR THE BOOK OR PROJECT(S) COME FROM?

From really rotten things happening to me.  I’ve gotten almost 100% of my inspiration from dealing with pain and loss. My brother dying tragically brought me The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy and the other two books of Earth’s End. My life melting down and dealing with trauma brought me the Bloodsong series.

I did write a cute kids’ book about a premature horse born on our ranch that wasn’t the fruit of disaster. Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could is adorable and won a bunch of prizes. Even this cute entrant had a heart-breaking element. The real horse, Tecolote, died of heart failure days after his book began winning awards. It was incredibly painful for all involved.  Tecolote was my personal horse.I don’t know that I’ll ever love a horse as much.

Writing is my way of holding and dealing with tragedy. It’s not all tragic and heavy, but I don’t write like a girl. My stuff is gritty. I’d give everything but Tecolote and Stepping Off the Edge, my self-help/spirituality title, an R rating if they were movies.

3. WHAT GENRE DOES IT FALL UNDER, IF ANY?

I write everything from juvenile non-fiction, to new age, to memoir, to a kind of visionary/psychological/fantasy/sci-fi. I have a very broad range of subjects. For instance, even though I am a straight old lady, my two latest manuscripts are gay-themed.

4. WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO PLAY YOUR CHARACTERS IN A MOVIE?

I was invited to take part in this blog hop and given a bunch of canned questions to answer, which I did, in an offhand way, taking about two seconds for it. This morning I woke up and thought, That’s stupid. You don’t have to follow orders from a semi-anonymous list.

Something inside me said: Wake it up; make it breathe. Show them Numenon.

Do you know what the word numenon (noumenon) means? It’s the thing-in-itself, reality beyond the material world. We can never know the numenon. All we can know is what comes in through the senses. Our reality is limited to our brains’ interpretation of incoming nerve impulses. We cannot get to the world as it is.  Ever. It’s been that way since Immanuel Kant laid out the problem in 1783 with The Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysic.

The cover of Numenon is based on a Shiva Nataraj, the Dancing Shiva. Shiva is one of the Hindu trinity, the part representing destruction, but which also has a powerful creative backflow. Shiva is also the all-pervasive aspect of God, existing always and everywhere.

Numenon’s hero, Will Duane, chose the Shiva Nataraj as his corporation’s logo. Numenon is the largest and most powerful corporation in history, named after a philosophical concept most will never understand. Its icon is the face of God.

I’m sure you’re getting that we’re not talking about reality TV or game shows here. I write for grown-ups, about big issues.

Numenon is about the richest man in the world going to a spiritual retreat held by a great Native American shaman. The story could easily degenerate into a good, spiritual Natives vs. greedy, bad corporate people. It doesn’t. Both the shaman and the rich guy have closely held reasons for meeting the other, but book is essentially the Native world juxtaposed against Silicon Valley.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE TWO CULTURES REPRESENTED IN Numenon. WE’LL START WITH SILICON VALLEY. I know most about that. I was born in San Francisco and lived in the heart of what became the Valley most of my life: Palo Alto, Cupertino, Atherton, and Woodside.

Numenon’s hero is the richest man in the world. What’s it like being around someone like that? I haven’t met Bill Gates or any of the planet’s economic luminaries. I have met my dad. He rose from a penniless immigrant to the owner to the 9th largest residential construction company in the US. People do not have that kind of success because they’re lazy or stupid,

My dad moved at as high a speed as a human being could go, dancing on a razor’s edge. He was brilliant, disciplined, and way beyond hard working. Explosive. Demanding. As inspiring as any minister.

What was it like living with him? Like having Secretariat in the kitchen. Thrilling and terrifying. My dad had the whole package: brains, guts (major WWII war hero), physical power (weight lifter, wrestler and water skier). And spiritual experiences. The heartless, soulless businessman is a myth. My dad had visions and prophetic dreams, not ones that he’d recognize as such, but he had them. I recognized them when he told me about them.

Will Duane is based somewhat on my dad, and many other men I knew and lived near in Silicon Valley.

How would cast my book if it were made into a movie? I’d put Ed Harris  in for Will Duane, CEO and founder of Numenon. Ed Harris has the intensity and intelligence, as well as acting ability, to play someone as complicated and tormented as Will Duane. I will never forget the visceral pain of Harris’s searing performance as a gay man dying of AIDs in The Hours.

Will goes to the Native retreat in a caravan of matched RVs, including his own million-dollar motor home. It’s the Numenon way. “The Best of the Best: That’s Numenon.” He brings a professional and support staff to the retreat, including a world-class chef.

Will only hires first-in-their-class MBAs (Master’s of Business Administration) from top schools for his personal staff. Those are just words. Do you know what it means to be first in your class at the Harvard Business School or the Stanford Graduate School of Business? Think Secretariat on speed.

I was in the doctoral program at Stanford’s graduate school of business once (“the year I almost got an ulcer”). One of my fellow doctoral students had been first in his Stanford MBA class before deciding to get a PhD. Really nice guy. He’ll probably take over the world one day.

That’s the kind of person I’m describing when I say Hillary Swank could play Melissa Weir, the Harvard MBA who is Will Duane’s protégé. Melissa’s achievement in school and at Numenon is astonishing. Hillary is smart, intense, and a super actress. Plus after playing in Million Dollar Baby, she could knock the bad buys into the next county, just like Melissa.

Russell Crowe would do well as Doug Saunders, Will’s hatchet man and the corporate bad boy. Doug was top of his MBA class at Stanford and has adapted to the Numenon code, which is something like, “If you can screw it, do it.”

WHAT ABOUT THE NATIVE AMERICAN SIDE?

Grandfather, the shaman who is the heart of Numenon and the whole Bloodsong Series, is impossible to cast. I’ve had the good fortune to study with two meditation masters and a tai chi master. I did this over a long time––about thirty years, all told.

What’s is being with one of these giants of humanity like? When I approached my first meditation master, my brain would bliss out when I got within ten feet from him; I couldn’t think at all. People in the meditation hall (including me) routinely had experiences similar to those in the Bible. Visions, raptures, prophetic knowledge. Love overflowing in every direction. The experiences I had in long­­––all night, sometimes––chants were so intensely pleasurable that I can imagine nothing better, including everything.

When I was writing Numenon,  I modeled Joseph Bishop––the name given to Grandfather by white people in the Indian Schools––after the spiritual masters I have known.

I apparently nailed him. One person who had studied with a Native shaman told me, “You really got the shaman. The man I studied with was exactly like that.” I’ve also had Native Americans tell me, “I want to study with Joseph Bishop.” Sorry, he doesn’t exist.

While a number of actors could portray people from  Silicon Valley, no actor could portray  Grandfather and his Power. A real shaman or spiritual master could do it, but I don’t know any that would want the job. It’s a matter of wattage.

Other Native American characters: Four thousand people attend the retreat. Many casting opportunities exist. I’ll pick a few.

Wesley Silverhorse has a small part in Numenon. His part is larger in Mogollon, Numenon’s sequel and keeps going through the rest of the Bloodsong Series. But he could have a one-line part and take over the book; he’s that spectacular.

Wesley Silverhorse is an archetype. The word “archetype” derives from the Greek and Latin, meaning  “beginning, origin” and “pattern, model, type.” An archetype is the pattern for a certain type of human being. Earth mother, seductress, child, hero, martyr, wise old man/woman, warrior, mentor, trickster, and, never to be forgotten, the devil or Satan, are archetypes.

The easiest way to explain archetypes is to tell a story. Numenon has been around in draft form since 1995, maybe ’98. The character Wesley Silverhorse popped into my mind early on. He is an archetype known as: The Babe. He’s gorgeous. As the hero, he’s also kind, and smart, empathetic,  brave, and as spiritually adept as most saints. He’s an unbeatable warrior. Because of his spiritual development, the People believe he will be Grandfather’s successor, over the shaman’s birth-grandson. He is so good looking that even old ladies like me swoon contemplating his imagined image.

Wesley Silverhorse became a fixture in my family’s life. If I was driving with my daughters and saw a fantastic looking, maybe Native, guy, I’d shout out, “Whoa! Is he Wesley?” They’d respond, “Nah, that guy back on University Ave. was better.”

A man could be “half a Wesley” or a “quarter of a Wesley.” We never got a full Wesley, but the search was fun. It was a great way to bond with my daughters. Try it with your kids.

The point being that Wesley can’t exist in the real world. Nothing is as glowing as the contents of consciousness, and Wesley is that––the construction of my subconscious. (A note about this. Archetypes can be dangerous. They are mesmerizing, and very powerful psychologically. If you find someone who looks like Wesley and toss your hubbie of thirty years in a lust-flavored rush, this is probably a mistake. By the time you figure it out, it will be too late.)

So, who would I cast as Wesley Silverhorse? I started by doing basic research, Googling Beautiful Native American Men. This search provided many tantalizing possibilities. Check it out. Everyone needs inspiration.

I quickly settled on (drumroll . . .) Rick Mora. You’ll see him all over (and pretty much all or him) on his website and the Beautiful Native American Men search. He comes about as close to the fictitious Wesley Silverhorse as I can imagine. (In the interest of scholarly investigation, I will keep looking, of course.)

The only person in the world better looking than Wesley Silverhorse is his younger brother, Benny. Rick Mora could play him, too.

Exceptionally beautiful people face a problem: objectification. Admirers turn them into collections of body parts and take away their essence. Also the “entire package” I mention above. Beautiful people have many qualities in addition to their looks: moral principles,  feelings, values, will, drive, intelligence, loyalty, love, fidelity and many other attributes.  Those who focus on looks alone miss all that.

Traditionally, women have been objectified most: Marilyn Monroe and all the Playboy centerfolds. Now men are being objectified by women. Jon Hamm (MadMen) has complained of this. Here’s an article about it (don’t be shocked.)

I’m sorry, Mr. Mora, if I have objectified you. I’d like to invite readers to check out his web site. He’s involved with a number of causes and is way more than a pretty face.

Other Native American cast members: Wes Studi could play a few parts. Do you know who he is? He’s got all the intensity of Ed Harris. Wes could play Dr. Tyler Brand, the very cool Native American professor and spirit warrior. Or Paul Running Bird, Mr. Sleaze. Tantoo Cardinal could play Leona Brand, Tyler Brand’s politician wife.

The characters go on and on––this book would be a Native American actors’ Stimulus Package if made into a film. (I’d settle for a mini-series like Game of Thrones . . .)

OH! WHAT OTHER ARCHETYPES SHOW UP? When you’re talking about ultimate good, what comes up in response? Ultimate evil. Who’s that? That good ol’ Dark Lord, Satan.  Who has a bit part in Numenon and a major part in Mogollon.

That’s it. If you want to buy the book, you can get it on Amazon as a hardback or a Kindle version. The hardback is beautiful. You can also get the hardback from me for less than half of what Amazon’s charging.

 Here’s the book on my web site, which talks about its six national awards and what reviewers and experts have said about it.

Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money

5. GIVE A ONE-SENTENCE SYNOPSIS OF YOUR MANUSCRIPT OR PROJECT? Tomorrow morning, a nuclear holocaust will destroy the planet; only a 16-year-old tech genius and an exquisite visitor from another world can save it. That’s for The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy.

6. WILL YOUR BOOK OR STORY BE SELF-PUBLISHED OR REPRESENTED BY AN AGENCY? Internationally, my work is represented by an agent. Domestically, we own our own small press.

7.  HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE THE FIRST DRAFT OF YOUR MANUSCRIPT? Varies. I’ve been working on Mogollon since 1995. I wrote the first draft of The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy in five weeks.

8. WHAT OTHER BOOK OR STORIES WOULD YOU COMPARE TO THIS STORY? My work has been compared to that of many authors. A reviewer said that Numenon was “Bill Gates meets Don Juan.” The Earth’s End series has been compared to Stephen King’s The Stand by several reviewers. It’s also been compared to 1984. Reviewers have compared me to Orson Scott Card and Aldous Huxley. The number 26 Amazon reviewer said Lady Grace reminded him of Ray Bradbury, combined with the whimsicality of Douglas Adams. Those are great writers. If people want to compare my work to theirs, great!

9. WHO OR WHAT INSPRIED YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK OR STORY? As noted above: terrible things  inspire my writing. My work is not all tragedy. Some of it is very funny.

10. WHAT ELSE ABOUT THE BOOK OR STORY MIGHT PIQUE THE READER’S INTEREST? I love magic. I love enchantment. I like to write characters that you’ll never forget and create worlds that you don’t want to leave.  I am a sorceress with words. And I love my readers, and my characters.

 

Sandy’s Amazon Author Page. Click here of on image.

HERE ARE LINKS TO AND DESCRIPTIONS OF SANDY’S SIX BOOKS!
They range from wild sci-fi to adorable children’s nonfiction. You’ll find something you’ll like in the list below:

  • NUMENON,  a novel about the richest man in the world meeting a great Native American shaman
  • STEPPING OFF THE EDGE, a modern day spiritual companion
  • TECOLOTE, the adorable kids’ book about a baby horse.
  • EARTH’S END––the new, three book sci-fi/fantasy/visionary series that takes you to the end of the earth, and beyond.
    The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy––An angelic girl shows up on the sidewalks of New York City in 2197. Or is she a girl? Jeremy Edgarton, teenage genius and revolutionary decodes the transmissions. They say the world will blow up tomorrow morning.
    Lady Grace––The radiation has cleared. A few survivors make it back to Piermont Manor to start a new life. What they face is a battle more deadly than any they’ve fought. Evolution can work for evil as well as good.
    Sam & Emily––Can love live in an echoing cement bomb shelter three hundred feet below the earth’s surface? Find out in Sam and Emily as headman Sam Baahuhd falls in love with a beautiful assassin.

 

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