Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Future That Brought Her Here: A Memoir of a Call to Awaken by Deborah DeNicola

The Future That Brought Her Here: A Memoir of a Call to Awaken by Deborah DeNicola

Today we welcome Deborah DeNicola to our writing blog. She is discussing her book The Future That Brought Her Here; Memoir of a Call to Awaken.

YVONNE: Tell me something about yourself and your writing background.
DEBORAH: I’ve been writing since I was 7, poems, stories at first. I’ve been a free-lancer, so I’ve really written in every genre. I’ve published 5 collections of poetry and have won, among other awards, a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship for my poetry in 1997. I compiled and edited a poetry anthology, Orpehus & Company; an anthology of contemporary poetry on Greek mythology from The University Press of New England. Another collection of my poems, Original Human, is forthcoming from WordTech Press in 2010. None of my books are self-published.

I consider myself foremost a poet; I mean my master degree is in poetry, but currently, in addition to poems, I am putting together a book of essays on Dream Image Work, the technique I use for understanding dreams. I was trained by a Dutch Jungian Analyst, Robert Bosnak, who founded “embodied dreaming.”

I’ve got a short essay on my web site called “Dreaming Aloud” on the correspondences between poetry and dream image work: http://intuitivegateways.com/essays.shtml.

I’ve always written; I get antsy if I’m not working on some piece of writing. For years I spent a month or two at writing colonies. When I was teaching at colleges, I’d get January and August off and often go off to sequester myself and write. It took eight years to write this memoir because of the research in it and the traveling I did, and because I had no idea where I was going.

YVONNE: What is the title of your book? Give us the basic story line so we’ll know what it’s about.
DEBORAH: The Future That Brought Her Here is about a spiritual awakening. I was dragged kicking and screaming into the occult world by spontaneous events. I’ve been practicing meditation for over twenty years and suddenly my third eye opened. At the same time I became claire-sentient; I could sense spirits’ presence and feel energy. I actually began the book as a novel but one day an inner voice told me I must come out of the spiritual closet.

I was an adjunct college professor at The Massachusetts College of Art, Lesley University’s graduate program in Creative Arts and Learning, and at Massasoit Community college. My colleagues were not open to my experiences. Even poets I knew backed away from me. I had considered myself “intellectual,” I had owned an independent literary bookstore in Portland, Maine and hadn’t been interested in the occult for the major part of my life.

When I look back, I sense that I had a magical childhood with imaginary friends and I wonder how imaginary they were. Those senses shut down for most of my life until a few strange experiences in 1987 and then in 1994 with the publication of my book from Alice James Books, Where Divinity Begins.

I recall the energy being around me but I couldn’t really see it until September of that year. That sent me on a quest for more knowledge about what was happening to me. The book is the story of that quest and the conclusions I come to about it: that humanity is undergoing an evolutionary leap of consciousness. I never expected to be a “New Age” person. Actually the New Age is really just the return of ancient, esoteric knowledge.

At that time I was all about intellect and my reading tastes were biographies, fiction and poetry. I was a skeptic, which is why I’ve done so much research for a memoir.

Although, when I think about it, I did always have strong intuition and very vivid dreams, prescient dreams in a few cases. The book is also about being called to different places and seeing through my third eye visions of what I think are past/parallel lives. (Since there is no time, or rather “linear time” is something we have agreed to construct, these lives all are happening at once in the eternal NOW.)

The book is also about heartbreak and depression and the difficulty of integrating my father’s death when I was an adolescent. Essentially, it’s about healing, Jungian psychotherapy, archetypal psychology, medieval history, and some quantum physics thrown in for grounding.

YVONNE: What inspired you to write this book?
DEBORAH: Some amazing things were happening to me. I suddenly had new senses. I was a writer, so I figured I was destined to write about my experiences. I didn’t want to at first. I wrote half a novel before I started it again as a memoir.

Also I had written twenty poems in a sequence about my father’s death and afterlife that I had published piecemeal in journals, (and it won me the NEA award. At the time I was teaching Dante and that inspired me to think about the afterlife). I wanted to publish the poems altogether. They fit well into the story because it’s also about how imagination heals and creative process heals.

YVONNE: Is this the first book you have written?
DEBORAH: It is my first prose book. Though I’ve written a lot of academic prose. I actually won an essay contest from Packingtown Review this year. http://www.packingtownreview.com/pieces/5

YVONNE: How long did it take to write this book? Any interesting tidbits about your writing method or how the book developed?
DEBORAH: As I said above, it took eight years and probably six rewrites. It developed in pieces although I did brainstorm for the chapters, when I started it I hadn’t yet taken the trip to France. I talk about creative process in the book.

YVONNE: How did you publish your book? Tell me about your publishing experience and what you learned from it. Please go into detail if you wish.
DEBORAH: I sent it to agents at first and got some nice feedback but I think in the New Age genre they wanted a proven author. A lot of them said they thought it was good writing but it wasn’t their subject matter. Then I started sending directly to publishers. Nicholas Hays accepted it for their imprint, Ibis Press. Most of their work is Jungian, and they publish a lot of occult classics.

YVONNE: Did you work with an agent? If so, how did you find the agent? Was it beneficial to you?
DEBORAH: As I said I didn’t get an agent.

YVONNE: Where is your book(s) available? Do you have a Web site or blog where we can learn more about you or your book?
DEBORAH: My book is available through all the major distributors and it is on Amazon.com. bn.com and my publisher’s site. The book’s site is www.thefuturethatbroughtherhere.com. It hit number #1 in Social Science and Psychology categories on September 15th on Amazon when I did an email blast and it stayed there for awhile! I do have a web site with a complete bio, essays, poems, and a new blog page: http://blog.intuitivegateways.com/

YVONNE: As far as marketing, do you do more online publicity or print/radio/TV promotion? Tell me some ways you have promoted your book. Give examples and links to any sites you feel might help other authors.
DEBORAH: I’ve had to do all the promotion myself. Other than the Amazon blast, local readings, conferences, book clubs, some advertising on social media sites and the workshops I give, I haven’t done much else yet. I have promoted it through my own web site that has a brand new blog about dreams. I’ve gotten 11 excellent reviews on Amazons by customers and three journal reviews.

YVONNE: Have you hired a publicist to help promote this book? If so, what was your experience like?
DEBORAH: A publicist cost $20,000 and I couldn’t afford one. I now have a marketing coach who is helping me with my business as a dream workshop facilitator and speaker.

YVONNE: Any other comments or things you would like for us to know?
DEBORAH: The book came out late in June, so it really hasn’t been out that long. I am still planning on it falling into the right hands of someone in the major media. Of course, everyone wants Oprah to read his or her book. But this book is about the Power of Black Madonnas and I think it’s perfect for Oprah. How you get it to her besides sending a copy, I have not yet discovered.

I am just getting my complete press kit together now, so even though I sent out review copies, I will do another big mailing as soon as possible. It is difficult for an author theses days without a publicist.

When Dan Brown published The DaVinci Code, I was a little distraught because we have much of the same information on Mary Magdalen, for example, though mine is more scholarly but also more personal. Later I was grateful he had broken open that story and brought it into the mainstream. My research into the Gnostic gospels had been going on since the early ninety, long before Brown’s books. My book didn’t come out till 2009 and by then Brown’s book was renowned. Still, I think my personal story of my encounter with those themes is enlightening in a different way.

My book actually traces the story of the coming evolution of humankind as far back as the Egyptians, through Israel and the Gnostics, to Gaul or ancient France, to the medieval Catharsis, the Templar Knights, the Rosicrucian’s, The Freemasons to present New Age practices.

I have just finished reading Brown’s new book, The Lost Symbol, which focuses on the Freemasons, and he comes to the exact same conclusion I do in my book, (along with thousands of other people) i.e., we are in for a Golden Age of Peace if we can survive this chaos which is preceding it. In any event, I am focused on that message, living that message, teaching the truths of spiritual laws. I’ve discovered so-called “miracles” are actually quite in keeping with nature, or natural law. I did not have the strange extra-sensory powers I have now until I was 47. I’m living proof something’s going on.

YVONNE: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to get to know you and learn about your book. I wish you well.

Deborah DeNicola is the author of five poetry collections and she edited the anthology Orpheus & Company; Contemporary Poems on Greek Mythology. Among other awards she won a Poetry Fellowship in 1997 from the National Endowment for the Arts. Deborah has been a recipient of many writing colony residencies. Her most recent book is her spiritual memoir published by Nicolas Hays/Ibis Press, The Future That Brought Her Here. Another full collection of poetry Original Human is forthcoming from Custom Word Press in 2010. She teaches dream image work and mentors writers online at her web site www.intuitivegateways.com.

For a limited time, you can purchase The Future That Brought Her Here from Amazon and receive bonus gifts. Click here for details: http://www.thefuturethatbroughtherhere.com/bonusoffers/ To learn more about this virtual blog tour, please visit: http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2009/10/future-that-brought-her-here-by-deborah.html

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