From My Hometown Paper: A Scorcher
My upcoming novel gets some early and sizzling attention on home turf: From Wilmington, NC's Starnewsonline.com:
Joining the host of area authors with books coming out this spring is Wilmington native Peggy Payne. Her new novel “Cobalt Blue” is due to be released March 16 from Roundfire Books — you can already order advance copies from Amazon.com — and it promises to be a scorcher.
Angela Davis-Gardner (“Butterfly’s Child”) is calling “Cobalt Blue” “entrancing and unsettling, a novel that gets at the marrow of sexual and spiritual experience.” Payne told the website Image.com that “I am once again in my fiction following the story of a person seeking or being chased by God.”
(This is an ongoing theme with Payne. In her 1988 novel “Revelation,” a liberal Chapel Hill pastor hears — literally — the voice of God, which shatters all his smug assumptions. Her 2002 novel “Sister India,” a New York Times Notable Book, is packed with spiritual seekers.)
Here’s what we know so far. The protagonist of “Cobalt Blue” is a burnt-out, 30-something woman artist who suddenly and unexpectedly undergoes kundalini rising.
For those of you from the Bible Belt, “kundalini rising” is a concept from Tantric Yoga, which has nothing to do with our stereotypes of low-impact New Age-y exercise on mats. Those who’ve experienced describe it as a burst of psychic energy that runs up one’s spine, something like a supernova or a nuclear detonation. Descriptions have masseurs being thrown across the room; some people claim it’s better than the best orgasm they ever had.
Anywho, this experience leads our artist on a spiritual journey with some wrong turns. She becomes involved in a project with a bigoted Southern senator, she heads off to New Orleans back alleys, to India, to Ecuador (and, at one point, to exotic Pinehurst, N.C., site of a different sort of pilgrimage). Apparently, a lot of sex is involved.
Payne’s travel writing and non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times, Ms., Cosmopolitan, Travel+Leisure, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and many other publications. Her “Boldness” blog is one of the more interesting writer spots out there. For more on this world traveler, click here.