My newest book, Pit-a-Pat High Jinks, is a thorough reworking of my earlier Hippie Drum and Hippie Love novels.
Here are ten ways the result is new and improved.
- These events are now seen a generation later by the protagonist’s daughter, Cassia, even if she has to pinch her nostrils closed while admitting some of the love scenes. She’s not as vocal here or as perceptible as she is in Daffodil Uprising, but she nevertheless instills a critical distance. There are good reasons so much of this era still puzzles her.
- Many of the characters are renamed, starting with our hippie boy, Kenzie, and they’re now more fully developed. The backstory for Shoshanna, especially, emotionally blew me away while revising her part of the plot.
- Drummer has evolved. He’s now Kenzie’s best friend and an integral counterpoint to the happenings, as is his pit-a-pat on his very private collection of drumheads.
- This is the ’70s rather than a blend with the ’60s. Woodstock has happened, and the movement is heading off in many new directions. One of them is what’s supposed to be a hassle-free back-to-the-earth lifestyle like the one Kenzie’s landed in.
- The two earlier novels are woven together. Originally, in the first one, Kenzie usually fails to land himself in bed – a reflection of the reality that in the hippie era, not everyone was getting laid all the time. That version focused more on his housemates and friends in town. In the other story, he’s far more successful sexually, though the events still lead to the same ending. In the new blended novel, he’s one hot dude, though it’s not always obvious how much of the action is a consequence of his imagination or dreaming and how much matches reality.
- The blending instills a clearer plot line. His farmhouse and his social circle around campus are given balance, and his sequence of lovers advances his wisdom.
- Kenzie’s attraction to Buddhism is more fully explained. The Tibetan practices transform him, inside and out.
- The playful, even dizzying thrust of the original two novels is now countered by meaningful times of loneliness and brooding. Being hippie, after all, was no guarantee of always being happy. Quite the opposite. It often involved extremes of feeling.
- This novel is now character-driven, rather than running along the surfaces of its actions. The actions grow largely from their individual emotions.
- It’s all about connections. The people Kenzie meets lead to new adventures and first-hand discoveries.
Be among the first to read my newest novel.