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Interview with A H Jessup, author of Beyond The Cascade

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It touches on the nature of the Alpha woman–the one who does it all right, instinctively, from the beginning–and what happens when she collides with the brick wall of depression.  This chaotic and painful collision is only a starting point.

Tell us more.
Suzannah Grant, a hard-driving and driven Alpha Chick in her mid-thirties, is near the the pinnacle of success in her career as a linguistic anthropologist, beginning to gain recognition and awards as a result of brilliant contributions to her field and years of intense effort. As success finally comes within reach, she is thrown into crisis by the grim  miasma of clinical depression.  Her usual solutions to hurdles, the frontal attack and the keen analysis, do nothing to relieve her condition. A  desperate search for professional help fails to crack the case. Her psychiatrist, running out of other solutions, sends her off with the mandate to “learn new things”.  While Suzannah  fumbles around trying to do so, her attention is drawn to an antique journal from a Victorian-era African explorer. In it, he reports an encounter with a remote mountain people living at the foot of a mysterious and revered cascade.  Their seemingly enlightened culture and unusual patterns of language set off distant bells in her depressed thinking.

So she goes in search of them?
Picking up the threads of the explorer’s trail, she grows determined to resolve the mystery of the people of the fabled Cascade, their culture and their mysterious atypical language. Exhuming long buried manuscripts in old university archives, digging in to legends obscured by centuries, she finally throws herself into a full-blown trek into the hinterlands of Africa.  The travails and discoveries of her path ultimately bring her to the Cascade, and a great deal further. Her adventures lead to dramatic changes in her mental perspective and her spiritual state, and an explosive and transcendent culmination.

What genre is it?
Beyond the Cascade is literary commercial fiction, with threads of magical realism, adventure, science and self-discovery.

What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Spiritually oriented, strong minded women; readers curious about minds, and the limits of language and thought itself; readers who like a good adventure story with a touch of magical realism; dreamers and lucid sleepers who slip out of the world at night.

Complete this sentence for us: if you like _________________, you’ll love my book.
Richard Bach.

Her story, reminiscent of Bach’s Jonathon Livingston Seagull or Redfield’s Celestine Prophecy, is richly woven with sub-plots and explorations into linguistics, artificial intelligence, anthropological quirks and some fine cuisine. In the course of its development it also dissects some of the mystic legacy of the Grail legends beyond the Arthurian clichés and the Christian and Disneyesque distortions. It touches, as well, on the nature of thought beyond language and where the outer boundaries of such thought may be.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
Born in New York, went to sea young, have worked as a miner, a diver, a deckhand and a captain, a pastor, a systems engineer and a writer.  I have written dry technical stuff for thirty years, as well as novels, essays, poems and doggerel of various kinds. I have an M.S. and a strong affinity for emerging technology and science, but I come from a family of writers, editors and poets, which adds a better, more human flavor to my technophilia.

Do you have a website where we can keep up with your work?
http://www.ahjessup.com.

How can we follow you on Twitter and/or Facebook?
@ahjessup on Twitter.  On Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/AHJessup

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