Inflation Nation by Tom Cammack

Chapter 7 (Excerpt)
Currency Debasement Inflation

“But then the masses wake up. They become suddenly aware of the fact that inflation is a deliberate policy that will go on endlessly. A breakdown occurs. The crack-up boom appears. Everybody is anxious to swap his money against “real” goods, no matter whether he needs them or not, no matter how much money he has to pay for them. Within a very short time, within a few weeks or even days, the things which were used as money are no longer used as media of exchange. They become scrap paper. Nobody wants to give away anything against them…. It was this that happened with the Continental currency in America in 1781, with the French mandats territoriaux in 1796, and with the German mark in 1923.” From The Theory of Money and Credit (1953), by Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973) (emphasis added by the author). Appendix 1 has more of this quote, and is recommended reading.

A proper understanding of this chapter is critical. The inflation argument rests on whether you believe a government can generate inflation through monetary debasement. I believe most people seriously underestimate the danger of this kind of inflation.

Negative real interest rates normally result in currency weakness. Why is this? It’s because investors are selling the currency to purchase what they perceive to be a better store of value. The following chart shows the 96 percent loss in purchasing power of the U.S. dollar since the Federal Reserve Bank was established in 1913.

Money Supply

The following chart is from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and shows a sharp rise in the monetary base beginning with all the government bailout activity in 2008–09.

It would be a mistake to believe that the United States is the only country expanding its money base. Look at this chart of the world’s twenty largest economies.

Inflation bulls will look at these money supply charts and say something like, “It’s just a matter of time until inflation really kicks in.” While I agree with that statement in the long run, we must not forget to look at the next factor: velocity.

The Velocity Factor

M1 is defined as all currency in circulation plus checking account deposits and checkable deposits in banks, credit unions, and other depository institutions. The M1 multiplier is the ratio of M1 to the adjusted monetary base. This ratio measures the velocity of money in circulation. Here is the graph of the M1 multiplier from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis:

The adjusted monetary base chart shows that money is going into the banking system, but this chart shows that it is not being loaned out. This could happen for a couple of reasons. Banks may have tightened their lending standards and could be using the money to rebuild their capital base. Also, borrowers could be reluctant to acquire new debt in the midst of a recession. In any case, money velocity should increase before there is a rise in the inflation rate.

Can a Central Bank Create Inflation?

The crux of the entire inflation/deflation debate rests right here. Clearly, monetary expansion alone will not create inflation when there is a large amount of bad debt in the system and the banks are using bailout money to recapitalize (credit deflation). The question then asked is, “Can the government force banks to lend, or can the government bypass the banks altogether?” Let’s review what Ben Bernanke said in his famous 2002 “helicopter” speech:

Like gold, U.S. dollars have value only to the extent that they are strictly limited in supply. But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services. We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation.

The conclusion that deflation is always reversible under a fiat money system follows from basic economic reasoning.” Ben Bernanke: “Deflation: Making Sure ‘It’ Doesn’t Happen Here,” November 2002

So what is Mr. Bernanke saying? I believe he is highlighting three key things:

  • Japan did not try hard enough to get out of their deflation.
  • You can bypass the banks when you need to.
  • Velocity—and inflation—will take place when people see that you intend to continually devalue the currency by creating more and more of it.

What Will Cause Money Velocity to Increase?

  1. Healthy economy—renewed bank lending with sound loans
  2. Bank lending forced by the government (e.g., socialism)
  3. Debt monetization—people fleeing the currency because they are seeking a store of value.

I am not aware of any instance where the following formula did not eventually work:

Debt monetization = Currency devaluation = Higher inflation

Of course, critics will argue that Japan followed this course of action and did not have an inflation problem. The Japanese economy has been caught in a Liquidity Trap for the past 20 years. A Liquidity Trap is defined in Keynesian economic terms as a situation in which neither lower interest rates nor increases in money supply are able to stimulate the economy. During this time, the Bank of Japan lowered interest rates to zero in addition to its quantitative easing policy. My response to the “Japan” argument is that inflation (and asset bubbles) did occur, just not so much within Japan. The yen carry trade (borrowing in yen and investing the proceeds in all sorts of things all over the world) resulted in inflated stock and bond markets globally as Japanese investors sought out investment alternatives outside of Japan.

Others may be inclined to point to the United States. In the early 1980s, when Fed Chairman Paul Volcker slew the inflation dragon, gold peaked at $850 per ounce in January 1980 and then fell like a rock. But we must ask this question: “How did he do that?” He did it by raising interest rates to 20 percent while inflation was running at 12 percent. This resulted in a positive real interest rate of 8 percent! At that point, it made sense to sell gold (and just about anything else) and put the proceeds in savings or government bonds.

I believe it is helpful to take a look at what happened to the U.S. dollar in the 1970s and early 1980s when real interest rates went from -4 percent to +8 percent:

When Richard Nixon completely removed the United States from the gold standard in 1971 and real interest rates were negative, the dollar declined 30 percent against the currency basket through the 1970s. However, when Paul Volcker started dramatically raising U.S. interest rates in late 1979, the dollar started shooting up and almost doubled in value against the basket by 1985. Of course, the dollar declined once again when the Fed cut rates in the 1984–87 time period.

History clearly shows that raising interest rates well above the inflation rate will reverse the inflationary trend and attract money back into the currency. However, does anyone have the political courage to raise interest rates significantly in this environment? I believe that it is doubtful because of the fragility of the economy and the financial system.

Be Aware of the Deflation Head-fake

A review of monetary history shows that there have been instances when a period of high inflation, or hyperinflation, was preceded by a period of deflation. One example that comes to mind is the Weimar Republic (Germany, pre-World War II).

Are we in such a period now? It is impossible to know for sure, but a loss of confidence in the currency would make such a scenario very likely.

A Matter of Confidence

It is important to realize that confidence in paper money can be here one minute and gone the next. Here is what happened to the U.S. Continental dollar in the 1700s. These dollars were issued to help fund the American Revolution.

Here is another example from Weimar Republic Germany that shows how quickly money can become worthless:

In conclusion, I make the following observations:

  • Money velocity and inflation expectations can change very quickly, especially when there is a sudden loss of confidence in the currency.
  • I believe Ben Bernanke when he says he can create inflation through currency debasement. What he does not mention, however, is that a loss of confidence in a currency is virtually impossible to control.

One closing note to this section: most people incorrectly believe that there was deflation throughout the Great Depression. While it is true that prices went down early in the Great Depression, they went up after gold was confiscated by Franklin Roosevelt in 1933. Here is the chart of inflation rates during the Great Depression. As you can see, deflation was prevalent early in the Great Depression, but inflation took hold in the second half of 1933 after gold was confiscated and the dollar was devalued.

Author Interview: Tom Cammack, Inflation Nation

  1. What excites you most about your book’s topic? Why did you choose it?
    My passions are investing and monetary history. I am especially concerned about inflation and our money’s decline as a store of value.
  2. How long did the book take you from start to finish?
    I would say at least two years (part-time).
  3. What aspect of writing the book did you find particularly challenging?
    Even though I am knowledgeable of the subject matter, it still took hundreds of hours of research to write the book.
  4. What surprised you the most about the book writing process?
    Primarily, the amount of time it takes to write a book.
  5. Did you have any favorite experiences when writing your book?
    It was good to be able to talk with various people and get feedback on what I wrote.
  6. What do you hope your readers will gain from reading your book?
    I hope they will gain an understanding of how money works and what they can do to help themselves and their families financially.
  7. What projects are you currently working on?
    I am working on developing an inflation-related website that will be helpful to people.
  8. Is writing your sole career? If not, what else do you do?
    No – my main job is working as a senior investment manager with one of the country’s largest pension funds.
  9. Did you do any research for your books, or did you write from experience?
    I used research and 30 years of accumulated experience in writing Inflation Nation.
  10. How did you come up with your title?
    A great deal of thought went into it and I changed the title several times. In the final analysis, I decided that Inflation Nation was a title that people could identify with.
  11. What books have influenced you the most?
    Dying of Money: Lessons of the Great German and American Inflations – Jens O. Parsson and Tomorrow’s Gold: Asia’s Age of Discovery – Marc Faber.
  12. Who was your publisher and why did you choose them?
    I self-published the book through Lulu.

Author Profile: Tom Cammack

Did you learn anything from writing your book?
Yes, I learned to really focus more and communicate ideas better.

What’s the hardest part of writing a book?
The hardest part for me was the time commitment to doing the research and then writing a book that both investment professionals and non-investment professionals would learn from and use.

What are your current projects?
I am working on an inflation-related website that will help people with their investing.

How long does it take you to write a book?
It took me over 2 years to write Inflation Nation.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a farmer (like my dad).

Author Profile: Elmore Hammes

Elmore Hammes, Author of The Twenty Dollar Bill

What’s on your nightstand now? Sunshine by Robin McKinley, Keeper of Dreams by Orson Scott Card, an alarm clock set to 6:00 a.m. and my cat Chuck.

Who are your top 3 favorite authors? Neil Gaiman, Robert Heinlein, Evelyn Waugh

Favorite quote from a book? “A town without a bookstore is like a chicken with one leg.”– James Qwilleran (from Lilian Jackson Braun’s “Cat Who” series)

Do you see writing as a career?
I see it more as a vocation than an occupation. I don’t support myself with my writing – I earn as much editing and formatting for other authors as I do selling my fiction – but I certainly don’t have any desire to cease writing or publishing.

How long does it take you to write a book? First drafts take from thirty days to six months. The final version is hammered out from six months to two years later, depending on the book and how much blood my muse chooses to drain in the process.

Author Profile – Georgene Collins

What was your favorite book when you were a child?

Charlotte’s Web.

Was there a book that changed your life? If so which one and how did it affect you?

Yes, Taming Your Gremlin by Rick Carson.  The book speaks to the inner voice that tries to control us and keep us safe.  I had known about the inner voice but until I read Carson’s book I did not know how common it was and I guess I felt a sense of normalcy.  Once I realized everyone deals with that little voice, namely fear, I was able to talk back a bit and ask for some proof of my fear!  That little voice usually hushes at that point!

What do you think makes a good writer?

The ability to relate well to others.

What inspired you to write your first book?

To educate others on safe ways to lose and maintain their weight loss.

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes as an added service to the education I want to provide.

Author Interview – Richard Godfrey

Q: When did you start writing, and what inspired you to write?

A: In 1971, after leaving a two year Peace Corps agricultural service in Nepal, I began driving ambulances in Oakland, California and wanted to create a fictional account of the experience.

Q: How long did the book take you from start to finish?

A: In about five years I wrote but never published a novel titled: The Company Moon. In the nineties, after working in the field of surgery for many years, I was motivated to retell the story of the ambulance company, only through a new backdrop of Washington DC and the never fully explored events of the Watergate period.

Q: Where do you write?

A: I write wherever I am, which is pretty much all over the planet.

Q: What’s the best thing about being a published author?

A: I think it’s the opportunity to move on to another book project, and that people are inspired to tell you their stories if they know that you write.

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?

A: Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad, Barbara Kingsolver, Abraham Verghese, Lawrence Durrell, Robert Sachs

Q: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

A: I have had mostly good reviews and encouragement. There are always critics and it has been helpful and painful to hear their advice and condemnation. I try to seek out negative as well as positive points of view. Readers have enjoyed picking out characters that they remember from the seventies but mostly like the action sequences of the book. They complain about the confusion and large number of sub plots. One critic says I don’t use enough sex and violence!

Q: What are your current projects?

A: I’m a strong believer in community endeavor. I’m currently working with some community supported agricultural non profit projects in the US and in Africa. I raise bees in my back yard. I’m also working on a new book in Kenya – a biographical account of women helping to deliver medical care in Kenya. Sarah Obama, the grandmother of Barack Obama Sr. is one of the subjects, and her life is fascinating from early years to now.

I continue my work as a surgical oncologist in the Bay Area and as part of a University affiliated surgical training program.

I’m going to sail to Hawaii in May. Here’s hoping for good weather!

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

A: As per the last question, if it’s green or blue, I want to explore it.

Q: How did you come up with your title?

A: The best way to understand the title of The End of the Race is to read it. It then becomes self evident. Of course, it changed in the process of writing – from The Race to A Race to the End, to the current title, which is quite final.

Q: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

A: Yes, but if I tell you, you will never remember. From a health care standpoint I can communicate that the book emphasizes how much of our health is really self dependent, and not a result of a socially imposed system. It is not unlike government, which every society must have, but which requires a balance between the individual and social needs. How one arrives at that balance is the not so subtle secret contained in the book.

Q: What’s the hardest part of writing a book?

A: Creating characters that live in a space accessible to readers – which opens emotional and intellectual space.

Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

A: Everything, a million times. Each fictional character develops a life of their own, and as time passes, they die and are born.

Author Interview – Jim Overturf

What’s the hardest part of writing a book?

For me, in writing mystery novels, it’s keeping track of events, actions, thoughts and movements throughout the entire manuscript so as to avoid repetition and duplication.

I do not write lineally, starting at page 1 and working to page 500.  I write scenes all over the place, whenever they strike me, sometimes in the middle of the night.  Only after half the book is written do I try to settle into a lineal mode of writing.  Often I wind up with the same scene two or three different ways, without even realizing what I’m doing, because the same scene or theme works in Chapter 4 and Chapter 6 and again in Chapter 8, under different circumstances.  My editor catches most of these, but we both miss a few.

What are your current projects?

The third book in the Kurt Maxxon series, Carpentier Falls is going into editorial review.  I am currently scoping the fourth book in the series, Centralia, and will start writing it as soon as Carpentier Falls is sent to the publisher.

How long does it take you to write a book?

The first book in the Kurt Maxxon series, Masonville took over 20 years to prepare and about 14 months to write.  The second book, Kings Rapids, took about 14 months from start to ready for publication.  The third book, Carpentier Falls, looks to be taking about ten months from start to ready for publication.  I would like to maintain the one-book-per-year mode.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

How incredibly difficult it is to avoid my natural tendency, after thirty years of writing training programs, to slip into the Tell-Tell-Told technique of writing.

For thirty-years I developed hundreds of training programs in which the major emphasis is the (1) tell them you’re going to tell them [something], (2) tell them the [something], and then (3) tell them you’ve told them [something].

But the Tell-Tell-Told theme doesn’t work in fiction.  Readers don’t like it.  Fiction must move at a fast pace from here to there, and readers cringe at the delay that Tell-Tell-Told introduces.

I’m still having problems with this, in Carpentier Falls, as pointed out by my editor.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I read a lot.  I stack up books to read while I’m working on one of my books, and then when I get the story ready for editing, I start reading down the stack.  I also play the stock market; not as a day trader, or anything like that.  I watch the markets every day and make trades trying to catch the ups and downs of it.  Nothing big or Earth shaking.  Just enough to have fun and keep my portfolio growing.

Author Interview – Jack Hatfield, Natural Success Principles

What excites you most about your book’s topic? Why did you choose it?

It excites me that I was Blessed with Tragedy so that I may help others. The wisdom that was bestowed upon me in those 130 days bedside was an amazing transformational experience. It not only shook me to the foundation, it destroyed it so that I had to build another, better foundation and a beautiful new manor or lifestyle that went with it.

It is with these teachings that I must, I repeat I must, spread the word and help. It seems like I was shown these principles at a very iconic time for our world and our country. People are seriously having problems right now. We don’t have time to sit around and hope for someone or something to pull us out of this mess. We have to work our way out. Just like they did when the country was formed, the parallels are astonishing. With that said, we need to look deep at what makes us tick, what makes us find the way in our own human spirit. Nothing can hold back the human spirit. It is what makes us powerful as individuals.

My book looks deep into this human spirit and finds that we have all we need to succeed inside of us before we were born.

It took a tiny child to show the way, and I won’t let her teachings remain kept, I must tell the world.

How long did the book take you from start to finish?

I realized what I was being shown about 100 days into our ordeal. As you can expect, I was a little preoccupied with the day-to-day worries to see most things. Yet, when I realized how powerful and amazing the things I were witnessing, I knew I had to share it.

First, the day-to-day story had to be told. People craved it from the time I started a blog for our family members. They wanted to know what happened behind the scenes. I felt I had to tell them.

I then had others ask me, what changed in you? How are you? How are you so happy?

I would meet people on the street that claimed they were so down, so depressed, yet, when they learned that I was there when my child died twice, their spirits seem to lift. They realized things were not so bad. They listened to me tell them that they can succeed. They realized that my tales of this incredible child meant that they can do it as well.

It was then that I knew I had to write the book. I had the title 4 years before the book was began. It took me 4 years to just get the first book down on paper, and from that another year to get Natural Success Principles out of my mind. 5 years from the moment I know the title and knew what I had to do, I now have the finished product.

I have since learned even more with my studies. What about my tale is so amazing? It came from a baby. I saw her work harder and be more successful than anything else I have ever witnessed. I saw true good in people helping her and us. Nurses, doctors, and assistants were doing amazing things every day.

Just amazing, simply amazing.

What aspect of writing the book did you find particularly challenging?

I found articulating some of my wisdoms simply were very difficult. Some of the concepts are big and deep. I gained the power to do this from my background in I.T. (technology). I have to make the complicated simple in all of my dealings.

The next aspect that was challenging was to make sure the reader gets it.

There are many self help gurus out there. Their books never give any true answers to success. I wanted my book and the associated workbook to really allow the person reading it to understand and find their success from this book. As in my technology area, I did not want to keep coming back to the customer fixing little things, I wanted to do the job right and make them satisfied.

The same holds true for every human that I want to help succeed. This is not an never-ending cycle of buying my book, then buying my program, then buying another book, then buying another package. I do have all these things, but eventually I want you out there, not listening to me but listening to yourself. You are the success when this is finished. That is the plan, not to drain your wallet while keeping you yearning for any truer secrets.

The secret is; it is you. You can succeed. You may need help and I will give it to you, but eventually you move on with your success. You reach your goals and keep going.

When I teach enough people to succeed, I am positive that this will be a better country and world.

What surprised you the most about the book writing process?

Nothing. I planned, worked the plan, and made everything happen exactly as I wanted. It is going along perfectly. The step we are on now is to increase the audience.

Did you have any favorite experiences when writing your book?

There were some chapters that my daughter forced me to write even after I finished the book. I did most of the writing without really writing. I talked this book. I dictated stories and teachings into a digital recorder. I then had those recordings transcribed, which I then edited to nurture the concepts in the words. It allowed the book to flow from me. It allowed me to see something in her and get it out right as it happened. I did a lot of the editing on a laptop on the kitchen table. It became my office away from my office. I did it to spend even more time with her, just in case she had something else for me to tell the world.

It also started her love of computers and that is why I have 5 pre-school games on that same super powerful laptop. We both had computer time during the day.

It was wonderful.

What do you hope your readers will gain from reading your book?

Success. See within themselves all that they need to succeed. They have covered these principles up and once I show them, they can release them again.

What projects are you currently working on?

I founded the Early Journey Foundation to help parents of premature babies. I started, the world’s first and largest social network for PreeMiracles and those who love them. I am currently helping the March of Dimes in their work as well. All the proceeds from the book benefits the March of Dimes and the Early Journey Foundation.

I have also launched the Blessed with.. Series. Each book will have 50 stories of the triumph of the human spirit over many things, cancer, depression, loss and others.  Each book benefits the corresponding non-profit.

Also with the launch of this book, we are launching Anytime Success Mentoring website and the Anytime Success Package. Like I said, many self-help “gurus” just highlight what you need to succeed. Many of them say things like, “My Mentor was Warren Buffett or Zig Ziglar, you need to get a mentor also.” Well, how do we go about getting a mentor like you did? It leaves you searching without a solution. They are in the business of keeping you “lost” so that you keep buying.

I am not that, if I tell you to do something, I will tell you how to get it. Yes, we need help, and that is what my site Anytime Success is going to do. It will give you the mentors you need to solve any crisis and destroy the excuses for your own success. Once we eliminate your excuses, I show you what you have inside you and then you are off to success. Not “lost” searching our stuff again for another nugget of wisdom. I am not saying do not keep learning, but I want you successful, not just wishing for it.

Is writing your sole career? If not, what else do you do?

Keeping bright smiles on the faces of the 4 ladies of the house is my full time job.

I am a proud father and husband. I am the owner of 2 other beautiful girls. They are my dogs.

I dabble in technology some also.

Did you do any research for your books, or did you write from experience?

I read anywhere from 3 to 10 books a week. I have a lifetime of learning from these books. I feel that books are incredible. I have a book anywhere there can be idle time. I even have books ready for a long stoplight. I also have books on tape for the Car School.

It is from all that I learned that I was able to see what I was being shown from my daughter’s experience. People and parents are blessed with premature children every minute on this planet. They are blessed with this tragedy. Some may say it was hard, some forget the experience, and some live differently. I could not just keep it within. I have to tell the world what I was shown.

How did you come up with your title?

Naturally. Kidding. Again, what I witnessed was a set of principles to success. These principles are inside you before you are born. They are naturally inside you. Natural Success Principles. Always there, from the start.

What books have influenced you the most?

A book really has not influenced me, but authors do. Zig Ziglar, Robin Sharma, Robert Kennedy, Stan Lee, Brian Tracy, Napoleon Hill.

Comedians have also shaped me as I love standup comedy. Richard Pryor, Brian Regan.

One of the most compelling things I remember in my past is that my parents took me to Feeling Great seminars with Glenn W Turner. While some look to him now as a pariah, it really began my foray into the power of the human spirit.

Who was your publisher and why did you choose them?

Morgan James Publishing.

I did an awful lot of research into publishing and publishers. I saw what this company was trying to do and liked the concept. While I could have self-published or went with a “traditional” publisher, I liked control. I like speed. I like to get a book done when I want it done, not when a company tells me so. They do what I want, that is why we are there.

Author Interview – Nancy Burnett

Journeys Home: Stories from Grandmother’s Lap by Nancy Burnett

What excites you most about your book’s topic? Why did you choose it?

Real life story excites me more than anything. I want to know and understand human nature both in the abstract and on very personal levels. My choice follows my history of studying human development at the graduate level, of practicing psychotherapy, and of years of personal analytic work both formally and informally.

How long did the book take you from start to finish?

I wrote in stream of consciousness for about 18 months. I then took another 18 months to cut and reassemble the resulting segments into coherent essays. This required new writing plus rewriting. Another period of months completed editorial revisions and other book preparation tasks.

What aspect of writing the book did you find particularly challenging?

Getting over my initial reticence and self-doubt. Finding the voices necessary to telling the story. Keeping my confidence in the face of frustration.

What surprised you the most about the book writing process?

It’s actually pretty easy for me. My muse is reliable when I move forward with trust.

Did you have any favorite experiences when writing your book?

Traipsing around Arkansas doing “research” in the company of my cousin was great fun. Just being together makes us laugh. Sometimes I just get tickled with myself over what I have written because it feels so good. I loved reading the emerging paragraphs out loud.

What do you hope your readers will gain from reading your book?

I want people to see themselves and find overlooked opportunities for improving their quality of life, to find new courage to confront healing tasks, to be inspired that if I could find humor and hope in my life experience, they can too.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am picking up where this book left off in time and theme and continuing into my adulthood. The precipitating points are dreams instead of photos but I’ll probably include some pictures again.

Is writing your sole career? If not, what else do you do?

I am a certified Life Cycle Celebrant, a spiritual director, and I create and facilitate programs—classes, retreats, events—for women that are affiliated with the Marion Woodman Foundation.

Did you do any research for your books, or did you write from experience?

I wrote from experience. I informally interviewed some family members and retraced a few family documents as well.

How did you come up with your title?

It emerged from the imagery in the writing. “Journeys home” is a central dynamic of the stories. “Grandmother’s lap” is the land of Arkansas, the place that cradles the essence of my origins and identity. “Recollections”—recollecting bits and pieces—constitutes the soul work of the writing project.

What books have influenced you the most?

I have been deeply influenced by over twenty-five years of reading and reflecting on the writings of many Jungian scholars and practitioners, e.g., Marion Woodman, Marie-Louise von Franz, and Jeffrey Raff. Linda Leonard’s The Wounded Woman put me on the road to healing. I primarily read nonfiction, but I love the novels of many contemporary women writers, e.g., Margaret Atwood, Barbara Kingsolver, and Alice Walker. The Women’s Room, by Marilyn French opened my eyes. Among male novelists, I love the work of John Irving. I loved A Prayer for Owen Meany. I hadn’t realized that a novel could be so expansive. Long before any of these, Something More, by Catharine Marshall inspired me to keep searching.

Who was your publisher and why did you choose them?

My publisher is also my friend, Catharine Clarke. We began working together as writer and coach. She progressed to editor, book producer, and then publisher. To become the latter, she put her 30+ years of experience in the writing world into proper form taking a leap of faith. Her Soul Garden Press is a gift to soul-writing and soul-writers.

Author Chris Casey – Guest Blog Post

Chris Casey – Author of Bruin’s Wake

I get e-mails and texts all the time asking me ‘who exactly is Paul Bruin?’ and ‘what exactly is Bruin’s Wake?’ Most of the questions come from either my growing fan base or just curious individuals anxious to know why Paul Bruin wants to friend them on Facebook.  Well, to answer their inquiries, Paul Bruin is an amalgamation of several different individuals I grew up with in Memphis, TN.  Suffice to say, Paul Bruin is not an exact, cloned, carbon copy of myself but rather a mixture of several different characters, myself being one of them.  Many of the experiences Paul Bruin faces in the book, actually happened in the author’s life including, but not limited to, attending a private Catholic high school in Memphis, joining the Marine Corps at the age of 18, running a marathon, playing major college football, writing the Great American Novel and having been falsely accused and wrongly convicted of a crime.  Paul’s enemies are numerous, mean and vindictive.  The major players include Brian Gowan, a former high school friend of Paul’s who has inherited the beautiful gene from his mother and the stupid gene from his father and who can’t seem to find a way to stop disrupting Paul’s life in any way he can.  Next there’s Allison Tressle, the lie-mongering , local newswoman who fiends for sex and unearned money.  Under highly suspicious circumstances, she becomes Paul’s stepmother in the book by marrying Paul’s widower father, George Bruin, and is a non-stop schemer, much like her attention-seeking ,real-life counterparts.  Dick Cordella, the Germantown Police Officer, is the pistol-packing homosexual who has had it in for Paul ever since hacking into his wife’s e-mail account and discovering all the lurid  messages Paul has sent her.  Dick fulfills an important role throughout the book.  It is his specific actions, words and tomfoolery that will eventually absolve Paul and subsequently the author from any and all wrongdoing, supposed shenanigans and felonious behavior.   Finally, there is Clinton Weeks, the meth-addicted maniac who murders Paul Bruin’s beloved mother during Paul’s junior year of high school.   Clinton is arrested in Part 1 of Bruin’s Wake, only to escape in Part 2, reuniting with his mother, super-dyke Tura Weeks, in Part 3.  Clinton is about as stupid and senseless as they come, bragging non-stop about all the drugs he’s done in his lifetime and continuing to make meth even while on the lam.  He does however possess one burning passion.  To get even with the one person, both he and his cellmate back in federal prison, want dead: Paul Bruin.
So you see Bruin’s Wake really is the story of Paul Bruin, an enigmatic character who traipses from one adventure to the next.  Horseshoe Lake, Arkansas.  The ‘Mad’ County Jail. Florida State University.  Oxford, Mississippi.  They’re all the places Paul leaves a little bit of himself in his ‘wake’ and they’re all stops on the road leading back to Memphis as a Confederacy of Dunces aims to bring him down.  But will pride, his greatest nemesis of all, finally get the best of him?

Paul Bruin is not a real person, per se, but the things that befall him all are, or at least people can relate to them.
Now, Bruin’s Wake, is the story of Paul Bruin, again, an enigmatic character who traipses from one adventure to the next.