The smell of coffee wafting across the bookstore came as a comfort to him as he walked inside to escape the bitter cold of the January morning. His face felt numb and in some respects oddly paralyzed. Yes, granted getting out on the road on such a day was stupid — but he’d been working doggedly all week and the idea of spending the whole weekend alone shut up in his mountain home was intolerable; nice, cozy, well-furnished as it might be, at the moment it still felt like a prison.
I wrote this paragraph, the first lines out of An Uneasy Traveler, nearly a year before I picked them up again and began writing the novel. Actually that isn’t such an unusual practice for me to begin something, even just a paragraph, and put it aside until the time seems right for it. In this case the time came at quite an unusual juncture in my life. My family and I who had been living in Virginia for some time near the Appalachian Mountains moved out onto the coastal city of Lancaster. We only lived there a year for business reasons, but for us, ostensibly city people who deeply craved a return to New Orleans, it was more than a departure. In some ways it was a shock, living in an old country farmhouse over a century old, 30 minutes away from a Wal-Mart and at least twenty from a decent sized grocery.
Upon reflection, I’ve found that being pulled so completely out of your comfort zone can be a gift as well as a major shake-up. Our house had a cornfield on one side and a cemetery on the other. At night we would sit out on the screen porch watching a blanket of stars overhead and listening to a soundless night except for the fluttering of fireflies illuminating the darkness.
For a writer I would have to say it fed my imagination in a way that few other experiences might have accomplished. Some time in our first month there I picked up this paragraph and it took flight into this quiet, gentle but powerfully intense love story. An Uneasy Traveler is not a grandiose tale but a personal one about two people overcoming their own pain and fears to create something new and extraordinary. It, I suppose, is a child born out of this very special time of contemplation I spent in that small rural town where I saw how life could be something quite different. The novel is available in paperback, ebook, and now audio book.
Thanks for Listening,
What would you do if your destiny was ruining your life? Jacob Wyss, an extremely gifted artist, is battling his own demons – a deep restlessness – while overcoming the after-effects of a painful divorce. A chance meeting with a guarded, young woman one wintry morning in a bookstore sends both their lives spiraling onto a different track. For it is the call of a past-life and a spiritual awakening that draws these two together, propelling both their lives onto a new and often disturbing path. It is a monumental struggle to overcome their own obstacles, fears, and ghosts from their pasts to carve out a new life together.