How much of the book is realistic? All of Colorado Mandala is based on real places and real people. But I invented all else. I took the characters I knew and put them into a place I knew best and let them just live their lives there. It seems to have worked.
Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot? Yes. This book totally reflects the way of life I was leading back in the 1970s. It was a time of adventure and dramatic cultural change and I was a part of it. The plot may be an attempt to self heal as the main character has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as I do…and so it is very possible that in writing this book I was really trying to get some perspective on my own issues and to try and create a vehicle that would assist me in getting rid of the PTSD within my own heart. It sort of worked.
What are your goals as a writer? My goals as a writer are acceptance and an audience that likes my work. The goal of this book is an attepmpt to help others who may have PTSD understand that they are not alone. And that there is a way out of the scourge and pain that PTSD causes.
Who is your favorite author and why? Ernest Hemingway reinvented the novel and I think he deserves credit for his work, not for the farce of a life he lead as a hyper masculine character. His books are all beautiful and engaging. His sentences are solid and purposeful. There is no waste or extravagance: Just powerful but simple writing and storytelling.
Can we expect any more books from you in the future? Yes, I am now working on a new novel entitled LARKIN’S DAY. It is a the history of a family of Irish rebels who founded the Irish Citizen’s Army which was a key factor in the Easter Rising in 1916 that freed Ireland from British domination. The story is a family’s placed against the backdrop of the events of 70- years as Ireland went from a colony of England to a Republic. Only the north of Ireland remains in British hands and it will soon be majority in favor of uniting with the republic. I hope to have this book ready and waiting when Ireland celebrates it’s 100 year anniversary of the Eater Rising in Dublin. This book will reveal the true reason that the IRA killed Admiral Mountbatten in 1978, a secret that no spy agency in the world was ever able to discover.
With refreshing depth, distinct literary merit, and highly original poetic phrasings that spill from the pages like paint, Colorado Mandala is poet Brian Heffron’s debut work of literary fiction. It mines the complex landscape of post-Vietnam America to unearth the deep connections that bind individuals together, and also ferociously rip them asunder. Illustrative, luscious, seductive, and engaging, this rare piece of craftsmanship will stir the senses of any one who thirsts for artistic expression, or who longs for an era in our country now utterly, irretrievably gone.
In the heady, hippie backdrop of Pike’s Peak, Colorado, in the tumultuous 1970s, three souls swirl together in an explosive supernova. Michael is the flinty-eyed, volatile former Green Beret, whose tour in Vietnam has left unbridgeable chasms in his psyche and secrets that can never find light. Sarah is his fair-haired paramour, the ethereal Earth Mother widow of a fallen soldier and single mother to a ten-year-old son Stuart. Paul is a young wanderer, who is drawn in by Michael and soon bears the mantle of both minister and scourge. As they are drawn together, and torn apart, each is changed forever. And our hearts race along with them, through the rocky, raw Colorado terrain amidst the blood sport of man and beast.
Laying bare the loss and acceptance of a pioneering age, Colorado Mandala shines revelatory light on the crazy, glorious, and romantic notion that each generation conceives anew: that love can be a spiritual gift shared openly rather than coveted, or hidden, or hoarded. If you wish to go barefoot again and climb an unspoiled Colorado trail, look no further. If you long for something to wake you up in simple, clean language, a shimmering story awaits. Awaken to what you have always known: simple truths show you the way home. With his gripping and unforgettable Colorado Mandala, it is clear that Brian Heffron knows the way.
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Genre – Literary Fiction
Rating – PG
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