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MARCH 17, 2009
Laws of Harmony ~ Judith Ryan Hendricks

  So...what's your novel really about?   

Welcome guest author Judith Ryan Hendricks as she tells the story behind The Laws of Harmony.

The Laws of Harmony began with an old clipping from the Taos, NM News. The headline was “Accident Claims Child’s Life at Party.” It was June 21, 1979—the last summer solstice party at New Buffalo Commune in Arroyo Hondo, NM. There were hundreds of people, dancing, eating, drinking, and of course using recreational drugs. 

Just as the sun was going down, about 8:15 p.m., two children who had been playing on the roof of one of the buildings fell together through a glass skylight onto the stone floor below. One was only scratched and bruised, but the other suffered two deep puncture wounds in the chest from shards of glass and died within minutes.

That image haunted me. And it sparked the story of Sunny Cooper, the (fictional) surviving child as she drifts from hippie commune to big city to an island in Puget Sound, always trying to leave the past behind, never quite succeeding. 

Although its inciting incident is the death of a child, The Laws of Harmony is not about death. It’s about living in the aftermath of loss, something we all know about. Whether it’s loss due to death or divorce, loss of a friend, a job, a home…there are losses in all our lives and we all find ways to keep on living. Sunny Cooper finds consolation in the same things that see the rest of us through—food, music, friendship, love and our capacity to find humor in the most unlikely places.

And by humor, I don’t mean jokes. Humor is not about being funny. Real humor is a state of mind, a way of looking at life that prevents you from throwing yourself off the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, no matter how sad you are, or how desperate.  Which is why I can’t write a book without humor anymore than I can write a book without food or music, friendship or love.

To watch a video trailer of The Laws of Harmony, please visit my website, .


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