Maybe I should have named my blog Potpourri or Pastiche or simply a Savory Stew because I aim to throw a lot of different things into the pot, mostly about reading, writing and art, but many other things, too, because I’ve lived a long time and have a lot of interests. I also will include here thoughts of others I come upon who share my loves. Including those of you who care to share your thoughts and impressions.

Archive - February, 2015

What the Heck is "Elixir of the Incas"???
posted by Ed Farber on February 19, 2015

Elixir of the Incas, my new novel, has been published by Rocking Horse Publishing and is now available on Amazon in both print and ebook editions.

It’s a great feeling when you first see your book in print, no matter what the subject. In my case having my first novel in print was a milestone, and since I’m an octogenarian, I wonder why I waited so long. But that’s another story. With three books under my belt (to use a tired, old cliché) I can consider myself a pro, I think.

The novel is historical fiction set in the raucous world of entertainment in New York in the 1890s. I googled “Gay Nineties” when doing research and discovered that the most common entries were about the gay community, including nightclubs named the Gay Nineties, rather than the historic era I was looking for. Actually the Gilded Age is a more direct reference. And it was a fascinating time.

My interest was in the music of that era before records and the phonograph dominated how songs were popularized. It was a time when printed sheet music made a song popular, and, while there were music publishers throughout the U.S., the music publishing center was New York in the area of 28th Street which later became known as Tin Pan Alley.

Now, about the title, Elixir of the Incas. It refers to a cure-all medicine sold in a traveling medicine show by the two main characters in the novel prior to the opening chapter. That traveling medicine show and the man who ran it, Doc Noble, was the driving force that propelled the two into the New York entertainment milieu and a constant reminder of the ballyhoo needed for their escapades. References to their time in the medicine show and the product they pedaled appear throughout the book, and the Elixir becomes a metaphor for Billy Brannigan’s quest for success. If he could sell that Elixir as a cure-all, he could sell anything!

More about the book in later blogs. In the meantime please subscribe to my blog or enter your email address. I've got much more to talk about concerning writing and art. And please comment. It's nice to know who's reading Bits and Pieces. And I'll reciprocate if you are writing a blog, as well.