I don’t recall learning to read. Nor do I remember ever not reading. With two parents who read and wrote as regularly as they breathed, it was natural to follow suit. I grew up on an isolated farm without a radio or TV, so books were it for information and entertainment. But I was a lively kid, which induced me to act out what I was reading, often bribing or coercing my younger brothers to participate in my skits as the supporting cast.
Two formative factors emerge here: the reading habit, of course, and the sense of direct involvement with what is read. I didn’t read just Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. I knew Tom and Huck personally; I talked to them about their adventures, and they let me in on things they never told Mark Twain. Reading fired my imagination, then prompted me to visualize scenes that embroidered what I had read, and finally led me to verbalize, if only to myself, those spontaneous mental dramas.
Fast forward to a college class in Shakespeare. I became so enthralled with Calvin Hoffman’s The Murder of the Man who was Shakespeare (1955), an alternative Shakespearean authorship theory, that I spent the semester on a paper that I imagined would topple established scholarship by proving that Christopher Marlowe was the actual bard of Avon. I obviously did not succeed—I don’t even remember my argument—but this experience taught me discernment in studying what the anointed experts wrote. My fascination with challenging mysteries, something I seemed born with, morphed into an intellectual rebelliousness. “Question authority” became my mantra, and authoritarian history became its first target.
Destiny, that dreadful beast, had me born and raised in an uber-religious environment. The college mentioned above was a Catholic seminary into which my parents and … Continue reading
Just today, Sept 4, 2013, I received the following email from Monty Jones, author of the classic Visionary Fiction Booker series (Naked into the Night, Lost in Las Vegas, Dead Water Rights), and I want to share his generous offer on what may be the final edition of his printed works with members of the VFA:
Pat [Monty’s wife] and I have worked for the last month to get my pioneer visionary novels back in circulation after the publisher delisted them after 16 years. Pat was also able to put up the 5th novel in the Booker Series, Psalm Maker, which had not been published. These are now Kindle books, but we are planning to put them up on additional platforms.
I hope that you will help us spread the word that these books are now available. Note the good reviews that these books got on publication.
We purchased 100 sets of the four Booker Series novels that we are offering at a 50% discount. When these trade paperback books are sold, that’s the end of them unless we can attract a new print publisher. I will inscribe each book as directed by the buyer. Sorry, I cannot offer single books.
We have another book coming out this year that qualifies as “visionary non-fiction”. Confessions of a Channeler is the title.
For further info and to order, go to http://writingasaprofession.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/visionary-fiction-the-booker-series-restoration/
Also watch for my forthcoming interview with Monty Joynes here on the VFA site.
The yellow lights came on, flashing furiously, at the blurb describing Perri Birney’s, PURE VISION, The Magdalene Revelation: stolen ancient artifact…dangerous journey…legendary treasures…clandestine pseudo-Masonic group. Not another one, I protested, all 586 pages of it. I admit to having been addicted to such yarns in the pre-Da Vinci Code era, lapping up everything of the type, fiction and non-fiction from Holy Blood, Holy Grail to William Valtos’s La Magdalena, so overindulging that by the time Dan Brown’s tour de force came out, it was old hat. Now, post-DVC, any book paired with The Da Vinci Code or touting a similar storyline makes me buggy; my reading list is plenty long.
However, I am currently on a mission to taste all flavors of works labeled visionary, metaphysical, spiritual or any combination of thereof, aiming to sort out when and how these related genres are the same, similar, or different. And since I first encountered Birney through the Visionary Fiction Alliance, I felt I owed what her Amazon Editorial Review touted as an “epic novel with feminine echoes of The Da Vinci Code” a fair hearing. If nothing else, it might help in judging whether any of the ubiquitous DVC knock-offs of the breathless, globe-trotting, save-the-world variety might qualify as worthy Visionary Fiction.
A couple of disclosures here. First, as someone who knows the heroic task involved in producing a coherent first novel, especially such a lengthy one, I consider it a mortal sin to cast aspersions on the effort; worst case scenario, I’ll … Continue reading