Do you intend to make writing a career? I am now an established Poet and Novelist and I intend to be so for the rest of my born days.
What is your greatest strength as a writer? I can describe things so that you are able to see them in your own mind’s eye. Description is my forte. Whether it be a landscape or a person I feel that I can bring a person or place to life through my prose.
How did you come up with the title? A Mandala is Sanskrit for “magic circle” and is used to meditate on to raise one’s concioisness, or it can represent a person who is fully actualized and complete in their development. Colorado Mandala was the place where all three of my main characters became themselves, some after a very long and difficult effort.
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.
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