Interview with Dudley Mecum, author of A Sojourn Among the Avatars of Wisdom

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Inside the Book:

Sojourn pic

Title: A Sojourn Among the Avatars of Wisdom 
Author: Dudley Mecum 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Visionary and Metaphysical 
Format: Ebook

Chris Cole enjoys aiming for the stars. After he rockets into orbit aboard the space shuttle, his mission is cut short when he is the victim of an accident aboard the International Space Station. Whisked back to earth for medical observation, Chris is eventually released. Before his return flight to Kennedy Space Center the next day, Chris decides to attend a nearby medieval fair with an acquaintance—a decision that will change the course of his life forever. Shortly after the astronaut's arrival at the festival, the king unexpectedly selects Chris to be a contestant in a tournament. As Chris's quest to become a knight begins, he learns how to wield a sword, battle foes, and achieve greatness. Unfortunately, villainy, treachery, and a crucible await him. As enemies emerge from the shadows, others use him as a pawn to settle old scores. Guided by a cast of colorful characters who dispense timeless advice, Chris is overcome with self-doubt as he ponders whether it is really possible to change his destiny. In this gripping fantasy tale, wisdom of the world's greatest philosophers and modern sages is brought to life as one man attempts to escape from a prison of his own making.
ORDER INFORMATION
A Sojourn Among the Avatars of Wisdom is available for order at
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Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it? 

My book is a gift to my younger self. You see, I experienced a lot of setbacks when I was young, perhaps more setbacks than most people endure. A seventeen-year stretch of stuttering as a young adult preceded a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease, which causes constant headaches. That tag team prevented me from experiencing much success in life. When the stars didn’t align to provide me salvation from my current state of affairs, I endeavored in a new adventure, one that required a great deal of patience. Fifteen years passed until my idea became reality. When I turned to quote books for inspiration, the wisdom revealed was compiled author or by subject, which is very dry and lacks context. So, I felt the need to find a more cohesive, yet entertaining medium in which to impart the wisdom of the ages that gives hope for those who have endured a lot of adversity in their lives, perhaps more misfortune than their fair share. The best approach was to weave the non-fictional elements of wisdom into a fictional narrative. Complementing the adventure and wisdom, I included the traditional literary devices such as symbolism, irony, and foreshadowing. Finally, my book is an homage to Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School, a mid-19th century art movement. The story depicts three out of four scenes from his Voyage of Life series of paintings. In essence, my book would convey not my wisdom, but the counsel of the world’s greatest sages, allowing my younger self to avoid common mistakes and achieve a greater success in life. Similarly, I’m hopeful that most readers will find my narrative entertaining and its underlying wisdom compelling. 

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

My book became a Rubik’s Cube of sorts because certain scenes called for specific wisdom and vice versa. In addition, I had to figure out who would impart what wisdom and in what order. The end result called for a colorful cast of characters and a multitude of scenes in which solicited advice would be given.

Do you plan subsequent books?

A sequel is planned for A Sojourn among the Avatars of Wisdom, which is hinted at in the last page of my book. Perhaps there will be more fantasy elements than imparted wisdom in that I don’t want to spend another fifteen years writing the sequel. 

When and why did you begin writing?

Shortly after graduate school, I wrote recommendations on various airline stocks as if I were a research analyst for a commercial or investment bank. The individuals who read my work really liked my writing. I kept their comments in the back of my mind for the next twenty years until I started writing my book.

What is your greatest strength as an author?

I tend to be persistent. It took me fifteen years to finish my book. Not too many people can do that. 

Did writing this book teach you anything?

I found that I needed to trust my instincts. I looked at quote books for inspiration and found their cataloging of quotes by author or by subject too dry. It’s as if each quote were a star in the sky. Even the notable quotes that I was drawn to, by themselves, really didn’t amount to much because there was no connective tissue. Only by writing a narrative, which not only provides context for each quote, but also related the quotes to each other, did I succeed in my quest. As a result, the “constellations of wisdom” are evident. Trusting my instincts proved to be the best thing I learned when writing my book.

Meet the Author:

  Dudley Mecum, a trained commercial pilot, earned an MBA in Finance, later working at a defense manufacturer. He currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas, where he enjoys fine art, swimming, and virtual flying.
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