A great deal of seduction has been called for to lure me away from the selfish pursuits of fortune, fame, and a vast array of many other vises that I once believed could relieve my existential angst. I must confess that Fisher King Press is the child of one of these many selfish forays.
Several years ago ‘by chance’ I met a Jungian and began analysis. We worked together for about 18 months before I gained the courage to leave a well-paying career and the security of an antiquated identity behind. The analysis continued and within a few weeks of leaving this old life, I brought a dream into our session. My analyst suggested a dialogue with one of the dream characters. Little did I know that this would lead to the expansion of my miniature world, the writing of eight novels, and much more.
The writing, like so many other things before, overtook me. I didn’t care about publishing a book. I only wanted to write, to create, to selfishly express myself (and my ‘self’) and for several years I enjoyed the good fortune of just this, living in Europe, frequenting cafes in Italy, France, Switzerland, Ireland . . . encountering characters and weaving tales.
People would ask what I did for a living and my answer would be “I used to be a John Deere tractor salesman.” “Yes, but what do you do now?” “Oh, I just live, just enjoy life now.” “Yes, but you must do something with your time?” “Well, okay, I write.” “A ha, so you are a writer!” “No, I’m not a writer. I just write.” “What do you write about?” I’d hesitate and occasionally answer, “I write about dreams. Every morning I get up and write about my dreams, and then I write about life, about how dreams . . . well, about how dreams intersect our lives, our waking lives, how they are tied together . . .”
I sincerely meant what I said, about how dreams intersect our lives and so forth. I believed it and at the same time couldn’t completely understand it, as is often still the case. But that was part of the fun, knowing and not-knowing, being in that in-between place, where the mysterious takes holds, where one cannot wrap one’s mind around an idea or concept and instead simply must follow the words and images.
So, I continued to follow the words and images when they came in dreams and when they came in waking life. I also continued to explain to others of how I once was a tractor salesman, and then on into the writing thing. Finally one day I got tired of having to explain about who I once was and how now I wrote, but no, they could not read my writing, and no, I had never published a book . . . So, I sent query letters to a few publishers, expecting to be received with open arms, but quickly learned that I might well spend the rest of my life waiting for someone else to say yes, waiting for someone else to validate me, my existence, who I was becoming, and I said the heck with all that!
Soon after came Fisher King Press and the publication of my first three novels, The Chronicles of a Wandering Soul series: Book 1 LeRoi, Book 2 Menopause Man, Book 3 SamSara. Then it was time to find and publish another author, so up went a basic website and not long after came a query from John Atkinson and we contracted to publish Timekeeper, Atkinson’s novel/quasi-memoir, a coming-of-age tale, describing the experiences of a 14-year-old runaway boy’s hardships, victories, and all the inspirational people who guided him on his journey and helped him to triumph over illiteracy. Critics have since praised Timekeeper as a deeply moving book written in the spirit of Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees . . .
But what about Jung, how do Jungian publications fit into the Fisher King scheme of things? Well, over the years, I’ve enjoyed the pleasure of building meaningful and lasting relationships with several Jungian analysts and I also hold a deep respect for the many Inner City Book publications that have brought understanding to the darker periods of my life. So, it was time to obtain a Centerpoint newsletter and send out a query to the listed Jungian societies and organizations.
April Barrett, executive director of the Jung Society of Washington was quick to forward the request to Lawrence Staples and we soon agreed to publish Guilt with a Twist: The Promethean Way. Erel Shalit and Enemy, Cripple, Beggar: Shadows in the Hero’s Path came next. From there, kind of like following words and images, things began to unfold, and what was originally created from an unconscious inflation to serve my own selfish desires, Fisher King Press finally became what it was meant to be – ‘Self’ Serving.
The Chronicles of a Wandering Soul series is available from Fisher King Press and my other novels will be published as the years unfold, where you’ll learn about what a rotten ol’ buzzard I can be in my endless pursuit to reclaim soul, or should I say, be reclaimed by soul. Sure, there’s some goodness in me too, but . . . well, enough about ‘me’ and ‘I’ and all my selfish exploits, and please don’t hold this against the other Fisher King Press authors whose worthy publications deserve to be widely read.
We are most grateful to the many readers who purchase Fisher King Press publications and we look forward to bringing you more books as the years unfold.