Posted by Literary Titan
Beyond Amazon takes readers on a metaphysical journey through time and shows them how Curtis Trueheart came to live in the village of Duachi. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
The inspiration for our story began with a dream, not unlike the prologue. As in a real dream, there were many details left out, but the seed of the story was planted. It took several years to completely seize the opportunity and flesh out the rest, mostly through daily meditations on the shores of the Salish Sea (the area you know as Puget Sound). Carolee and I thoroughly enjoyed bringing our shared perspectives to the table, making sure that all the loose ends wound up woven together to create the beautiful life in Duachi.
In addition, as a lifelong songwriter, the last twenty-five years of collaborating with Carolee has led us through a fruitful journey of imagination and wit. My performing experiences have served me well, allowing me to put myself into the story. Although Curtis Trueheart, the lead character, is also a performing songwriter, his journey has gone far beyond any of my experiences of traveling, playing music and meeting new people.
Curtis Trueheart is an interesting character that I enjoyed following. What were some driving ideals behind Curtis’s character development?
I wanted Curtis Trueheart to reflect the meaning of his name. There is a lot of my character in Curtis, as I, too, am just as curious. I consider myself a mystic and find meditation, aligning with nature, and knowing we are all connected, serves my spiritual walk on this planet Earth.
Though he met with many unbelievable situations, Curtis’ curiosity and respect for “possibilities” provided the impetus for his inclination to proceed, despite the unique situation in which he found himself. Though, in the Beyond he had little choice but to accept what was happening, the nurturing he received encouraged his willingness to remain. This reflects and inner struggle that allows something other than what we think to be true. Being true to one’s heart is “allowing” the possibilities.
Additionally, I also wanted to give voice to some of the ideas that have emerged regarding what happens when we pass from this level of consciousness. Using my own experiences of those who have crossed over, coupled with NDEs of friends and others, we were able to imagine how the afterlife might present itself. Of course, our ultimate goal was to create the life we want to experience, and that became Duachi by the Golden Sea.
What was the writing collaboration process like on this book?
Carolee and I are very intuitive in our creative processes. And so it is that we work well together, bouncing off ideas, laughing at many of them, and spending the many hundreds of hours it took to give the story and the characters the life they needed to become real to us. We try to never criticize, but rather, critique…. there is a huge difference, you know? One allows growth and trust to be the underpinning of this process, while the other is a recipe for getting nowhere!
The “meat” of Beyond Amazon comes from my meditations on the beach, after which, I go home and write them down in whatever fashion they tumble out. Carolee then helps with getting them into proper form, sentence structure and continuity. We often just sit and talk about what’s happening and brainstorm how the current scene with play out.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I wish I could answer this question. We, too, are excited to find out what the next adventure will be for Curtis and Li. We do so many things – music, writing, quilted crafts, children, grandchildren…. It will certainly center on a mystical journey, although what is “cooking” right now is hard to describe.
Posted in Interviews
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Posted by Literary Titan
Beyond Amazon is the debut novel of authors Jesse G Shepherd and Carolee Shepherd, and it is well installed in the science fiction genre with hints of romance and fantasy.
The story follows Curtis Trueheart, a young traveling musician who gets invited to perform in his hometown in Montana. After giving his concert, Curtis is approached by a kind, gentle-looking couple who introduce themselves as Randy, Alecia, and their son Luka. They immediately hit it off and invite Curtis to spend some time with them in their home at Outhere Island, in the Salish sea. Curtis accepts as he’s ready to take a break from music after a long and demanding tour. Unaware that he’s being sucked into the adventure of a lifetime, Curtis arrives with his new friends on Outhere Island, where he soon realizes that nothing is as it seems and the island hides wonderful secrets. As he’s approached by mystical creatures and faces the existence of an alternate reality, Curtis is enveloped in an entirely fantastical world where he discovers that there is a lot more beyond our dimension.
Beyond Amazon is a well-paced novel where one second you’re reading about the daily life of a young musician, and the next, you’re swept into a mystical world where shifting and alternate dimensions aren’t too far off from reality. Its genre is a gentle form of science fiction, where violence and bloodshed are excluded from the story as it focuses on more positive and joyful plotlines. The plot in itself is very compelling as it flows with perfect synergy. One chapter pours into the other without plotholes or sudden jumps between storylines. It captures the reader’s attention from the beginning and maintains its grip throughout the whole story. It is straightforward to read and presents clear writing and use of language.
The characters are exceptionally well-written and diverse, each with nuances and complexities of their own. The main character, Curtis Trueheart, is a young musician based in Seattle. He’s brave and kind-hearted, though slightly reluctant to accept the mystical realities he’s suddenly faced with. It is enjoyable to follow Curtis’s growth as the story progresses and watch as he not only accepts but embraces his new reality with an open heart and makes some excellent connections on the way.
Beyond Amazon: A metaphysical journey through time and space; How Curtis Trueheart came to live in the village of Duachi, by the Golden Sea is a charming and soul-touching story. The world-building is truly creative and a wonderful place to find respite from our currently turmoiled reality. I recommend it to anyone looking for a joyful and peaceful read full of optimism and possibility.
Pages: 221 | ASIN : B09VYKHPC2
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