Could Anthony Newley Be My Muse? received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.
Following find an interview with author Joellyn St. Pierre.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
Could Anthony Newley Be My Muse? (Or His Story Never Ends): Forging a Creative Bond with the Dead published Nov. 1, 2019.
What’s the book’s first line?
The Urban Dictionary defines a male muse as an Agent of Fortune.
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
No one was more surprised than me when on the winter solstice of 2017, I rather suddenly and startlingly began “hearing” the voice of the brilliant performer, director, composer and lyricist Anthony Newley, my inspiration to pursue a career in the theater. Not least of all because he’d been dead nearly twenty years and I am certainly not a medium. And yet, there he was. Over the next couple of years, we forged a creative bond, discussing the arts, genius and madness, creativity, critics and what might lay beyond the veil we call death. Together we explore how the living can help the dead, a way to accelerate the balancing of karma and a state we call “blending,” ultimately leading us to attend the 20th anniversary celebration of Newley’s death with friends and family in London.
Filled with laughter, tears and poignant insight, Could Anthony Newley Be My Muse? (Or His Story Never Ends): Forging a Creative Bond with the Dead is an important addition to consciousness research encouraging people with no mediumistic abilities to create a bridge between the worlds. And that’s just the beginning of the adventure…
Finally, as a shameless promotion, Dr. Raymond Moody, the grandfather of the near-death experience, author of the groundbreaking Life After Life and my mentor said this about my book:
This courageous conversation between St. Pierre and her muse is both entertaining and enlightening, shedding more light on that bridge between this world and the world(s) to come. Thought provoking, touching and a welcome addition to consciousness research.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
I never really expected to write another book after my first, The Art of Death Midwifery. But ten years later, lightning struck. It struck with a Cockney accent. Anthony Newley was my inspiration to pursue a career in theater though I never had the opportunity to work with him. Then on the winter solstice of 2017, my husband and I were watching a Barbra Streisand concert on Netflix. Towards the end, she sang duets with various artists. As we watched, a film of Newley’s performance of “Who Can I Turn To?” from his hit Broadway musical “The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd” on the Ed Sullivan show. I’d never seen it before. He was electrifying. I watched as a man dead nearly 20 years upstaged one of the greatest voices of the 20th century.
That night, I couldn’t sleep, my body sputtering and sizzling with kinetic energy. Then I found myself being directed to search out a fan club, a Facebook page, anything I could to flood myself with his music, his musicals, his performances. Before I knew it, I heard his voice in my mind.
Now, let me just say up front, I am not a medium. I’ve studied mediumship from several mediums including James Van Praagh. For a year, I mentored with Dr. Raymond Moody, father of the modern near-death experience, even going to his home for a weekend to work the psychomanteum with him. (The psychomanteum, or mirror gazing as some call it, was used for millennia by the ancient Greeks to contact their beloved dead.) I’d done all that and while I saw some small talent for it, mediumship just wasn’t for me. And yet. And yet? Here he was, in my mind, urging me on to one of the greatest adventures of my life.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
In ancient days, in times before the formation of the bicameral brain, talking to our beloved dead was common. Yet it was essential that humans develop a conscious mind. We’ve done that brilliantly, maybe too brilliantly. So, it is time now to reclaim the ability to speak with the so-called dead. It is a skill I believe anyone with a strong desire and some work, can do. You don’t need a medium.
Think of how life on earth would change if we understood what death truly is. As the ancient Greek philosopher Parmenides said, “Everything is alive. Death is just a name for something we don’t understand.”
The earth and all her inhabitants are facing catastrophic change of every sort. And from my conversations with Anthony Newley, it is clear to me that what I call the Enlightened Dead, are here, sharing the same space but at a different level (or dimension) of frequency. They want to help. They want to support and finally, they want you to know that death is not the end, nor something to fear. The biggest monster in your closet is actually your best friend.
Imagine how people might live their lives without that existential fear.
That’s the main reason but there is one more: It’s a highly entertaining read, poignant with laugh out loud moments. And couldn’t we all use a laugh right about now?
When did you first decide to become an author?
You know, I don’t think I ever actually decided to become an author. As a kid, I wrote all the time: little things, silly things, funny things, scorching things. Just for myself. However, when I began working with the dying, I knew that one day, I’d have something to contribute to hospice care. There was no need to reinvent the wheel but if I had something new to contribute, I would write a book about it. Nearly 20 years later, that book, The Art of Death Midwifery came together. It wrote itself. I merely had to take dictation.
After that book, I figured I was done. I really didn’t have anything else to contribute. The field laid fallow for 10 years. In the interim, I did a lot of spiritual study and work. Then what felt like out of the blue, this new book came into being.
For a time, I used to make soap. Once you have your ingredients combined, you stir and stir. It can be laborious but you keep on stirring. And then…all of a sudden, the mixture quickens. One second it is watery and undefined, the very next BOOM! It hardens into soap.
Becoming an author was something like that for me. I won’t publish something unless I feel it adds to a body of knowledge. In between the field is fallow. Who knows if I’ll write again and if so…what?
What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?
The best part of being an indie writer is the total freedom and control of my work. I write when I feel I have something of value to contribute so waiting for months or years to find a publisher who shares my vision just doesn’t make sense. Though I collaborated with my editor and design team, I had final say on all aspects. I own all the rights and when I do sell a book, I receive a better share of the profits. I am my own boss, make my own schedule and that suits me best.
The hardest part is the tremendous amount of work to be done after the book is written. Finding the right editor and design team takes great care and research. Checking, checking and then checking again each part of the publishing end is exhaustive. Then for me, the bane of my existence is marketing. It is my understanding that even with a traditional publisher, for a newcomer, marketing still falls to you. I never did any real marketing for my first book and it sells to this day nearly 11 years after its publication. But I wanted to give this book its best opportunity to find its audience so I researched and researched everything that might help me with that. I’ve spent the last 4 months marketing the book. Entering the IndieReader Discovery Awards is part of that. Marketing, is not my happy place, so I look forward to resting and replenishing the well very soon.
Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)
Yes, there is. It isn’t fame or fortune which is a good thing as I think I might be very disappointed. Honestly, it is to be of service. With both my books, unless I felt I had something to offer that benefited people and added to the discussion, there was no reason to publish. In both cases, it surrounds our concepts of death, dying and what might follow. It surprises me because when I was younger, death terrified me. Our culture doesn’t do death well. But things are changing. Science helps in changing it. Our expanding awareness of consciousness helps in changing it.
There was a time many millennia ago when death was not regarded as the enemy. When people could communicate with their beloved dead. It was necessary, in order to develop our conscious minds that the link between the worlds was temporarily broken. Now more than ever, it is time to re-establish that connection. To commune with the higher worlds. I hope Could Anthony Newley Be My Muse? can inspire people to listen inwards and upwards to once again make that much-needed connection.
Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to speak with your readers!