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Somewhere Upriver by Patrick Loafman

Published on Saturday, February 8, 2014 by

“Somewhere Upriver is a story of the Olympic Mountains of coastal Washington State, of the wildlife and sometimes-wild people who live there. Douglas Mortimer is the young scientist narrator who comes of age joining in the improbable adventures of the man who becomes his mentor, Peter Vernon. Peter is a dedicated naturalist who knows everything about salamanders, and soon the reader does, too.” Terence Kuch, author of The Seventh Effect and See/Saw.

What are the main themes of your book? 

It’s about newts and salamanders and their toxins. It’s a humorous look at what it means to grow up, become mature, or better yet, our refusal to grow up, how we all wish to remain young forever. It’s also about science and how we glorify scientists, put them on pedestals, when in reality, scientists are normal everyday flawed human beings. It’s about gourds. It’s about government conspiracies, homemade tofu and dark stout. It’s about stupendous white-man Afros.

Who or what inspired your story?

I have a foggy recollection of eggs and toast and bacon and a discussion with a fellow wildlife biologist years ago. We talked about Bigfoot, giant salamanders and human evolution. He said I should write a book about all that and make it a love story. Well, I didn’t make it a love story.

What do you like best about your primary characters?

They’re quirky, opinioned neo-hippies.  The kind of people I’d love to have as friends, so I made them my friends in a fictional world.

What are their worst peculiarities?

Douglas worships science like a religion, gets engaged way too young and has weakness for dark beer. Peter is obsessive/compulsive and can turn any discussion into a lecture about herpetology, gourd banjos, homebrew or tofu. Spock sees the PBS oil painting instructor Bob Ross as a guru, uses medical marijuana and firmly believes in UFOs and Bigfoot.

How does your main character evolve?

Douglas is drawn away from his sane world as a graduate student with a fiancée into Peter Vernon’s counter-culture world of peaceniks who are all obsessed with Peter’s dark stout and chasing salamanders. In the end, Douglas’ life is forever changed from his brief friendship with Peter.

What’s the principal message you want to send to your audience?

The secret of aging is no one really ever grows up – we’re all like Peter Vernon, remaining childlike until death.

What’s the nicest thing anyone has said about your book?

A man emailed me saying he couldn’t put the book down, a woman said my book is the best she’s ever read, and another woman approached me when I was at a fruit show and thanked me for writing my book because she enjoyed it so much – I don’t know who she was but I smiled the rest of the day. You can also read comments at my Goodreads author page.

Where can we purchase it?

You can read more about the novel, watch me play gourd musical instruments and buy the novel at my web page or just Google Somewhere Upriver – it’s available at most online bookstores, including the behemoth Amazon (a Bigfoot in the digital world).

About Patrick Loafman

Patrick Loafman is a wildlife biologist, artist and musician, as well as an author. He edits The Dandelion Farm Review. He’s a forty-seven-year-old skateboarder and surfer and organic farmer who refuses to grow up. He adores salamanders and gourds. Patrick has two chapbooks of poetry published, Song of the Winter Wren and Desert Journal, and a forthcoming collection of short stories, A Freckle Shaped like California. Somewhere Upriver is his first novel and it’s published by Event Horizon Press.  Keep up to date with Patrick’s art, music and literary endeavors by visiting his social links below.

Social Links: Website | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn

 

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