Thinking about the theme of Dark Fire

I just finished re-reading Dark Fire with the kind of satisfaction a parent has when the troublesome adolescent grows up to be an admirable person in his or her own right. It took so many years to write this book! Version after version, pursued a certain distance and then abandoned for a while and begun again a different way. Some day when I really have nothing else to do, I’m going to go back and count the number of times I tried and failed to write this book.

I can see why it took so long, now. The book as it exists is nothing like it would have been any time earlier. Somehow the plot took two or three seemingly separate themes and wove them together into one seamless whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

A few minutes ago, I thought, “It would be worthwhile to give people a sense of what the book is about. Give them a reason to read it.” So I thought, What is the theme of the story? And I realized that, in one way and another, it’s all about the existence and meaning of what are called higher powers.

At one level, there is the struggle for survival. Certain forces wish to destroy the C.T. Merriman Institute because they don’t want it teaching people how to access certain abilities. How do C.T. and his friends counter these forces?

At another, there is the question of life and death, faith and doubt, love and loss, as people have to cope with the mortality of those they love. There’s nothing like the specter of a possible death sentence (cancer, in this instance) to show you what you really believe.

At yet another level, there is the question of readjustment. What happens when you begin to develop new powers and abilities, when you alter your view of things? What does it do to your home life, your career, your familiar sense of yourself?

And of course always there is the question of what is real and what is illusion? What is important and what is a waste of time?

As a say, a certain sense of satisfaction. Not perfect, surely, but the best I can do at the moment. I hope people will read it with enjoyment.

Reading my novel as an e-book, a first for me

Not talking to the guys this morning. I need to write some promotional material for my upcoming series of lecture/workshops. Besides, I was up late, reading my latest novel, Dark Fire, on Kindle, a new experience for me. Enjoying it! I really like this author.

For some reason, it appears in the Amazon only when i type in “Dark Fire Frank DeMarco” in the search box. (There are other books titled Dark Fire. Why mine does not appear among them is one of those computerized mysteries.)

I must say, for $5, a bargain!

Dark Fire, available as an e-book

Just tonight I learn that Crossroad Press has put out my third Chiari novel, Dark Fire. I have been working on variants of this novel literally since first completing Messenger, which I wrote in 1979. Can’t tell you how many times I gave up on it. Finally it came together.  

George Chiari’s story was told in Messenger. His brother Angelo’s turn came in Babe in the Woods, (now retitled The Phenomenal Background and also available as an e-book from Crossroad Press). In Dark Fire, they work together, to try to save the C.T. Merriman Institute.

If you buy it and like it, please put up a review. Thanks.

This is the description that appears on Amazon.


That Phenomenal Background, available as an E-book

Originally published as Babe in the Woods, this is the first volume in a trilogy  centering on the changes and choices that accompany the dawning of a wider awareness.

Kindle version, the only version available so far, $3.99

That Phenomenal Background, an ebook

That Phenomenal Background (originally published as Babe in the Woods) is now available from Crossroad Press as an ebook.

The story? Reporter Angela Chiari is sent to attend a weeklong residential program at the CT Merriman Institute, a course that promises to help participants to develop their own “extraordinary potential.” He doesn’t believe a word of it, and expects to write a debunking article that will show people fooling themselves through their own wishful thinking.

Surprise, Mr. Chiari! It isn’t long before he begins to experience, first-hand, some of the things he has always assumed to be impossible.

As new perceptions and intuitions accumulate, he has to consider how much of his old worldview he can modify without becoming (as he would put it) “a fruitcake.” And there are more practical concerns as well, including the question of what happens when a long-married man falls in love (for reasons that cannot be explained rationally) with a long-married woman and they both know that a relationship is impossible. Yet this dilemma – which in ordinary circumstances would be front and center – is almost pushed aside by other extraordinary happenings and concerns, until Angelo finds himself living in a different world.

Here are the various links:



Smashwords: (which will feed Apple and some smaller retailers)

Google Play:

I am told it will be at Kobo after the next upload in a few days, but I don’t know what that means.


Draft 6 finished

Of the making of books, there is no end. Finished draft six of Papa’s Trial: Hemingway in the Afterlife, slimming it down from 167,000 words to 144,000, still too many.

Here’s Papa reviewing the manuscript, suggesting further changes. 🙂