We Fictional Café Baristas are not only editors but writers, too. Just as we introduce you to Member Writing and our forthcoming Anthology, from time to time we’ll invite you to learn more of what we’re doing as creative individuals – as I’m doing now.
For the past decade I’ve been writing novels about a young man and his coming of age in the 1960s and ‘70s. His name is Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers, a bookish 20th-century Candide who has been sent off to the Air Force in the midst of the Vietnam War. He will discover friendship, Chinese philosophy, hippie counterculture, and the meaning of romance as he tries to make sense of what’s happening in America. Nate’s fervent wish is to live by Bob Dylan’s refrain: how to avoid making the same mistakes twice.
The first book is Wild Blue Yonder, the second Madrone, and the third is Anarchy which will be published May 28, 2019. These three novels are about, and for, people who never supported the Vietnam War, who are sick and tired of rapacious capitalism, terrorism and mindless militarism. People who just wish to be free to create and live lives of fulfillment and purpose. And, perhaps, people who are nostalgic for the great rock ‘n’ roll borne out of the 1960s.
If that sounds like you, or if you’re a curious reader, or simply a lover of literature with compelling characters and what-happens-next plots, stay “tuned in,” as Timothy Leary once suggested. Over the next few weeks I’ll share a little about these novels and myself. If you like what you read, at the end I’ll ask your permission to send you an occasional email to keep you abreast of news, views and some excerpts from these first three books – and sneak peeks from the fourth work of this tetralogy.
Jack is the founding barista of Fictional Café. He wrote over a dozen nonfiction books before returning to his first love, fiction. Wild Blue Yonder was the first volume in the Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers trilogy and was followed by Madrone and Anarchy, all published by Wheatmark. A fourth novel is in progress. All these novels are available in ebook, Amazon paperback, and Audible formats.
Thanks. I appreciate your kind words.
I really enjoyed both Wild Blue Yonder and Madrone, and have been waiting for Anarchy ever since you announced it at the end of Madrone. I listened to both of the previous books as podcasts (Wild Blue Yonder back in the days of Podiobooks.com) – will you be reading Anarchy for us too? the narration of what, I am sure is more than a little autobiographical is a great part of the pleasure of these books for me.
Thanks for your interest across all three of these novels, Tim. You might find it interesting to learn that with each new novel, Nathaniel takes on more of a life of his own and so Madrone and Anarchy are less autobiographical than Wild Blue Yonder – although I hope not less entertaining! Best, Jack
Great. Will have to read them. I’m also writing a ’60s era novel with a Vietnam backdrop, the one I’ve always wanted to write since then, now just creeping along with it. We spelled it “Viet Nam” back then, two words. That period, as you know, no matter your view on the war or the American scene of the time, was, aside from the Revolutionary and the Civil Wars, the most dynamic of our history, with the most beautiful background music ever created; the rock, the pop, all of it. itt was palpable, you could feel it, smell it, taste it from your soul. My own views were mixed on it at the time, and I was in the Marine Corps in the Far East, though not “down South,” as we referred to it, indicating the direction from Okinawa, home of the Third Marine Division and other service bases. But overlooked was the huge fallout paid by families of G.I.s. I think those of the period, who had a conscience regarding the whole thing, one way or another, were profoundly affected by in ways that still stick like glue.
That would be wonderful! Let us know what you think when you’ve had a chance to read them. Would love to know what prompted you to write this type of novel for yourself. Will it be published in the near future? I can imagine that you will bring a large amount of your own personal experience to it. We look forward to knowing more about it!
I will. Thanks for asking.
Dear Dan, I appreciate your interest in my novels and wish you all success if writing and publishing your own. As I note on my Amazon page, something like 650+ books have been written about the “Viet Nam” war. I share 100% the exact same sentiments you express about that era and the devastating effect of that conflict. I wrote a different story, one which concerns a troop who did not get sent to Southeast Asia but to Germany instead, for a very good reason which is the crux of my novel and which ends up defining his life! We enjoyed “The Spot” and hope you’ll grace our ‘zine with more of your writing – maybe a chapter or two from your novel? ~Jack
Thanks. I appreciate your kind words.