Monday, July 18, 2011

Guest Post: Allan Richard Shickman author of Dael and the Painted People

Allan Richard Shickman, author of the book Dael and the Painted People, stopped by to share with us a piece he wrote.

DAEL AND THE PAINTED PEOPLE is the third book of the ZAN-GAH series—the sequel to a sequel.  The first of the three, ZAN-GAH: A PREHISTORIC ADVENTURE, traces the development of the hero, Zan, from his early teens to his achievement of maturity and manhood. The second book, ZAN-GAH AND THE BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY, focuses on Zan's disturbed and bitter twin brother, and on Zan's efforts to protect him from his own worst impulses.  Even in the near paradise of the Beautiful Country, Dael is unable to find peace and happiness. He finally leaves with the mute girl, Sparrow, in search of peace and some kind of resolution of his life.

DAEL AND THE PAINTED PEOPLE begins at that point.  Tormented by grief and guilt, and fighting to restrain his violence, Dael goes to live with the painted people.  There he finds another kind of paradise—one of generosity and kindness into which he fits but uneasily.  While Dael slowly heals, Sparrow blooms in an unexpected way.  Meanwhile, without knowing it, Dael makes a powerful enemy.  Fortunately Dael has friends too, including a troop of crows.

In this book I find myself straddling between my desire to be realistic and the fantastic character of events.  Dael becomes a shaman—one who can go into trances in order to communicate with spirits.  Does he really talk with them, influence them, struggle with them?  Does he hold mystic communication with the crow population?  Does it matter if he only thinks he does?

Dael will perform miraculous cures.  Is DAEL AND THE PAINTED PEOPLE a book about miracles?  Maybe the greatest miracles are the ones right under our noses—including those of our lives and loves.

It is my hope that the ZAN-GAH book series will provide exciting reading experiences for tweens and teens—and move older readers too. In DAEL AND THE PAINTED PEOPLE, I am particularly interested in the ways people change.  There is more love interest in this book than the others, and a continuing concern with gender issues.  But the chief concern is with the mysteries and dynamics of the mind—the very ones we share with primitive people.


About the book:

The thrilling book series continues. Dael seeks peace and restoration with the painted people, but without knowing it, he makes a powerful enemy. An exciting book for young adults. 

DAEL AND THE PAINTED PEOPLE will be available August 30 on line and in book stores.  ISBN 978-0-9790357-6-0

Pre-order at


About the author:

Artist, teacher, author, and historian ALLAN RICHARD SHICKMAN was an art history professor at the University of Northern Iowa for three decades. His first novel, ZAN-GAH: A PREHISTORIC ADVENTURE, won an Eric Hoffer Notable Book Award, and was a Finalist for the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award. The series, including ZAN-GAH AND THE BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY, received the Mom's Choice Gold Seal for Excellence in family-friendly literature.   DAEL AND THE PAINTED PEOPLE is the third of the ZAN-GAH book series.  Shickman has published articles in English Literary Renaissance, Studies in English Literature, Notes and Queries, Colby Quarterly, Art Bulletin, and Art History.



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