Zollocco: A Novel of Another Universe
is about a young woman who becomes a forest priestess. As Pagans, I hope that has enticed you! To elaborate, Zollocco is about a young woman who, having escaped from a dying Earth, lands on a planet governed by sentient forests in the solar system Imenkapur. At first, the forest, called Zollocco, does not want her there, but slowly changes its “mind” after realizing that the woman is trying to live in harmony with the forest. She is captured by, and made the property of, the Toelakhan, an interstellar corporation not in agreement with the forests’ stewardship of the planets. She escapes, and runs from planet to planet, meeting other civilizations living in tune with the forests. She is made a priestess of the forests, but the Toelakhan is always one step behind her, wanting their property back…
Zollocco has two stories behind the writing of the story. The first is that as I was growing up, I often had trouble falling asleep. So, I would tell myself stories which would put me to sleep. Eventually the stories kind of turned on me in that they would be so interesting they would keep me up all night. I would often go into this twilight sleep where the story would keep on going, but it would go in totally its own direction. Eventually, I found that one story which developed itself in my twilight sleep was so fascinating that not only did it give me many sleepless nights but that I decided I had to write it down: Zollocco. The second story behind Zollocco is that before I knew I was a Pagan I had this New Age boyfriend who told me that you could access any information at all through meditation. So I decided to put my New Age boyfriend’s assertion to the test and write a novel as a meditation to open to myself unknown sources of information. I wrote Zollocco, rooted as it was in my dreams, and it ended up detailing, metaphorically, my path as a future Wiccan High Priestess. (The High Priestess bit means I spent three years under the tutelage of an extremely gracious and knowledgeable teacher.)
Whenever I skim through Zollocco, I have found that there are many details in Zollocco which have proved to be prophetic. For instance, I described green roofs in Zollocco before any city built them. This makes me a little nervous about many of the other details, for Zollocco also grew out of my passionate concern for the environment. I wrote it as part of my effort to bring people to an awareness of the trouble the environment, all of Nature, is now facing.
Initially, I found an agent who represented Zollocco, and though all the top sf houses liked it, none of them wanted to publish it. At that time sf that featured a female protagonist was not something that Marketing approved of. Further, criticizing large corporations for policies that create mass environmental destruction, as Zollocco does, was not welcomed, I think, by the big corporations which are the main publishing houses. Lastly, the message of Zollocco, that we must commune with and respect Nature’s Way, was not then fashionable. It took ten years before I found a small on-line publisher to publish it. This company went under soon after Zollocco finalled in the 2001 Eppies, an international writing competition for e-published books. I then decided to start my own e-publishing business, Oestara Publishing, and took back Zollocco and my other books to keep them alive. Zollocco, to me, is a very important book for all the reasons those long ago editors turned it down even though they liked it! (I still have their letters, so I can prove they liked it!)
Zollocco has been “out there” for years; there are reviews at Eternal Night (an on-line reviewer), Midwestern Review (print and on-line review), The Romantic Times (print review), as well as reader reviews at Amazon. Yet, it is now that Zollocco is really pertinent. Suddenly the state of the environment is on everybody’s mind. These days Paganism, with its special appreciation of and communion with Nature, is the fast growing religion in the US and probably in other countries as well. These days, too, it is not seen as unbelievable that a young lady would have adventures—sf can have a female protagonist!
You can read an excerpt from the first chapter of Zollocco at http://www.oestarapublishing.com/lgscifi1.html
You can buy Zollocco: A Novel of Another Universe at Oestara Publishing (oestarapublishing.com/product-2.html), at Ficitonwise.com, and at Amazon.com. You may also be able to order it at some Barnes & Noble bookstores. If you buy it at Fictionwise.com or Amazon.com, I make less money on it, so please give it a ranking at Fictionwise or a review at Amazon. If you are list-mania sort of reader, add it to your list mania! If you buy the paperback directly from me at Oestara, I autograph the book for you. If you want the autograph in Theban, just let me know by e-mail.
As a final note, let me say I am a big believer in e-books because they save trees. If you are an autograph collector, let me suggest this: buy an e-book version of Zollocco, and drop me an email to send you an autographed postcard. You can ask all your favorite authors who take advantage of the e-book format to send you an autographed post card or bookmark. You can make a scrap book of all these autographs that will eventually become a valuable piece of history. As we change our habits to accommodate the needs of Nature, we will find that many of the changed habits are really fun and beneficial to us. So read Zollocco as an e-book and enjoy yourself!