Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Sample My Novel: 1-2-3

It seems necessary to acknowledge this truth: a blogger I am not. My last post here was nearly two years ago. I had reached "The End" of my novel Ponckhockie Union, not knowing it would grow a bit and get better in the next few months. Occupying too much of my time and attention to allow thoughts of blogging, the book finally completed its gestation and was born into the world in July of 2019. Since then I've been on the road of promotion, while also launching two other books through our startup Recital Publishing, plus maintaining a twice-monthly schedule on The Strange Recital podcast.

Time to catch up! But why the weird title? What does it mean? Come back to this blog for a future post about that. For now, here's the description from the back cover:
Benedict Arnold Rose is a documentary filmmaker in a troubled marriage. His history-focused life is suddenly derailed by shadowy assassins with multiple identities, indoctrination in a dark cell, seduction, betrayal, the finality of fire, and the unexpected kindness of a stranger. He must journey within, but what is real? And who is asking? Coincidence and paradox abound as Rose negotiates his passage into a new life…but the questions without answers still remain.
Encounters with a fictional version of the well-known author Paul Auster, and with a mercenary soldier who is also a devotee of the Indian spiritual guru Nisargadatta Maharaj, entwine the metafictional with the metaphysical in a speculative swirl of mystery, history, and self-inquiry. Check out John Burdick's insightful viewpoint in Hudson Valley One.

If you’d like a direct glimpse into Ponckhockie Union, here’s a good start: three episodes of The Strange Recital that feature audio excerpts from the book, but also have a little fun with supplementary material (as in “author interviews” that go a little astray). And music!

Start with this one, the opening of the novel, with a particularly local focus (thank you, Woodstock, NY):

This one features an important character (not Ben Rose, the protagonist) and a different voice:

And here’s a bit of the backstory, some context for the marriage crisis that is a key element in the plot:

I’d love to hear from you if you have thoughts or questions about what you just heard. Find me on Facebook at or Instagram at