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Late night typing in a former Hitler Barracks (1970s Panzerkaserne, U.S. Army Europe)…

Evolution: Four Books From One. Follow the narrative on this website from page to page to learn the evolution of a quartet of four books from a single dusty manuscript about a romantic affair in a New England college town, typed by a lonely and nostalgic young soldier (27) far from home stationed in 1970s West Germany…typescript lost in a dusty box for four decades; read more…

click to read Kirkus Review about Paris Affaire

1.

It started as a dusty typescript titled Jon+Merile, inspired by my own melancholia (typical of young GIs far from home). Almost published in NY but not quite. Made the journey home (ETS) with me (to CONUS) and languished in our garage in Grantville, San Diego, CA USA…

In 2016, as a self-publisher (now in my sixties) I started digging up early, unpublished manuscripts to add to my already 40+ published (50+ in all) books in e-book and p-book editions. The novel itself became On Saint Ronan Street, after a romantic street near the old Yale University campus in New Haven, CT. Among the major inspirations were the novels of John Updike, who wrote books like this: a love affair between a struggling young poet and a neglected, beautiful, lonely young faculty wife. Edited & published 2016.

Jean-Thomas Cullen's novel and poems written at 27 in Europe while in the Army in 1976

2.

I had wrapped up my 500-poem career as a published poet around age 27 (burnout for rock stars, poets, and other creative artists). Before ETS to CONUS in 1980, I self-published my first book (Pauses: 64 Poems) hand-made at the instructions of a German print shop. It came out real nice, and I registered my first copyright with the LOC/CO in 1980. In 2016, as I published On Saint Ronan Street, I decided why not also publish a companion volume of poetry, which became Cymbalist Poems. It's not just a little play on words; it reflects my love of the Symbolist Poets (early 20th Century) during my years as an undergraduate English major. Some of the 1980 poetry edition is in Cymbalist Poems, along with others of my sprawling oeuvre.

Jean-Thomas Cullen's novel and poems written at 27 in Europe while in the Army in 1976

3.

Again in 2016, I thought: might as well bundle the two books (novel and poems)? The result was My 27duet, which reflects two things. One, as mentioned, it pays homage to the age (27 or so) of poetic & rock star burnout. Two, it signals that these two aspects of my writing career were like twins separated at birth (my poetry and my poetic early novels), and now at last they were back together.

Jean-Thomas Cullen's novel and poems written at 27 in Europe while in the Army in 1976

4.

There's one more novel to tell you about: Paris Affaire. Around 2017, I happened to be watching parts of the classic French movie The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, which seemed to me so very Gallic and melancholy, a love story with a shockingly down or even blasé ending. It made me think of my own original story Jon+Merile, and then the idea came to me: in one afternoon, to clone On Saint Ronan Street (changing all the names, locations, and logical context) to create a new Paris-based novel. As I reworked it, I applied my experience of years as a novelist and considerably jacked up the suspense (something the positive Kirkus Review hints at). Read more about all this on the pages of this website. Sample all four books (read half free/try-buy). Happy Reading! JTC

Jean-Thomas Cullen's novel and poems written at 27 in Europe while in the Army in 1976

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