Michael Grace, a recently laid-off writer, is a respected fixture on the LA coffeehouse circuit, where he reads his poetry, excerpts from his well-reviewed but under-read novels, and performs original songs. During a psychic reading-a gift from his previous employer-Michael comes to believe that it's possible he is the reincarnation of Walt Whitman. The next day Albert Brennan, a lawyer who's also a fan, tells Michael that a mutual friend told him that Michael is Walt Whitman reincarnated. Even though Michael tells Albert that he's not sure that's true, Albert presents Michael with a plan: He offers to sue the publishers of Walt Whitman's work for 150 years of back royalties.
Although Stephen Smoke is well known for his psychological thriller and mystery novels, as well as the non-fiction Bill of Responsibilities series, he also has written two well-received inspirational novels (Trick of the Light-optioned for film by Hemdale Films, which won Best Picture Academy Awards for "The Last Emperor of China" and "Platoon"; and Cathedral of the Senses, "a moving and beautifully-written story that deals with the popular 'now moment' philosophies in a highly entertaining way."). While the inspirational novels are mystical and philosophical, the stories are not preachy, and entertainment is always the most important element. Many of the same metaphysical and philosophical themes in Trick of the Light and Cathedral of the Senses, are also in I, Walt Whitman.
Like Stephen's other inspirational novels, music is incorporated into the I, Walt Whitman story. Each of the three inspirational novels has an embedded soundtrack in the iPad version of the novel, and all the songs are available via iTunes, Amazon and other popular music download sites.
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About the Author
Stephen has written and directed feature films, including "Street Crimes" (starring Dennis Farina) and "Final Impact," and has written screenplays for others, including "Magic Kid."
In 2011 he published the first novel with its own embedded soundtrack: Cathedral of the Senses. The songs on that album were written by Stephen and recorded mainly by musicians and singers living in Sedona. All the songs are available for download via iTunes, Amazon, and other popular music download sites.
In July of 2012 Stephen re-released Trick of the Light, which is the prequel to Cathedral of the Senses. In 1989 he recorded an album (in support of the Trick of the Light novel) on which several well-known musicians, including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, Garth Hudson (the keyboard player for The Band), played on various tracks. The new edition of Trick of the Light was released in softcover and eBook formats, plus an enhanced multimedia version for the iPad. The enhanced edition contains portions of the songs embedded at appropriate points in the novel. The songs are available at all popular music download sites.
The re-release of Trick of the Light coincided with the publication of I, Walt Whitman, Stephen's third inspirational novel (in softcover and eBook formats, along with an enhanced multimedia version for the iPad). The iPad edition contains parts of songs written by Stephen, embedded at appropriate places in the digital eBook.
With the publication of Cathedral of the Senses, Trick of the Light, and I, Walt Whitman in all three formats (softcover, eBook, and enhanced multimedia format for the iPad), Stephen has the unique distinction of being a novelist with three multimedia eBooks, each containing its own embedded soundtrack.
Stephen is the founder/publisher of Mystery Magazine, and the author of the Bill of Responsibilities series.
Stephen is an expert in the field of digital publishing. He advises and works with writers and publishers, specializing in the following: scanning and repurposing printed work for digital publication, converting content to digital formats, and creating multimedia eBooks.
You can contact Stephen at www.StephenSmoke.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Michael Grace is the kind of protagonist you root for just because he’s a thoroughly decent man. He’s kind to his friends and family and he doesn’t kick dogs. Just laid off and not able to support himself from the novels he writes and his gigs in coffeehouses where he sings his own songs, you hope he can come up with something better. And he does—sort of. A psychic leads him to believe he might have some relationship to Walt Whitman. In fact, he might be the reincarnation of old Walt. Michael isn’t sure what to do about this feeling, but Albert, a lawyer in need of a good case, does. Why not try to get the back royalties Walt would be owed if he were still alive. This leads to various adventures in Los Angeles and the East. Michael also meets a lady who lives on a boat and feels she has a connection to him. A budding romance? Stephen Smoke has written many novels and knows how to bring up a far-fetched idea without shoving it down the reader’s throat. No matter how you feel about reincarnation, you will find the book very readable. There’s also some philosophical stuff that sounds like pretty good advice. You’ll get to know Stephen’s favorite eating places, especially in Palos Verdes and L.A., and other interesting information about these locales. The book is a smooth read that keeps you wanting to know what’s going to happen next.