NEW HOPE, PA, November 9, 2013 - After numerous drafts, editors, book clubs and friends input over 14 years, the release of THE HEART CODE novel by Laura Matson Hahn has finally arrived.
Ms. Hahn, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Affairs and Speech/Oral Interpretation of Literature at the University of Rhode Island and a Masters of Arts in Communications at University of Michigan, grew up in Glen Rock, NJ and now resides in Bucks County, PA.
The book was first edited by Bernadette McBride, a recent Bucks County Poet Laureate and rising star in the Poetry world; and lastly by Gerald Monigan, formerly of the Wall Street Journal and now a Bucks County Herald featured reporter. In between, Ms. Hahn, who worked twenty years as a Communications Strategist for organizations, spent the last decade as a freelance journalist, nonfiction author and creative writing teacher while composing this novel, the first of a series.
THE HEART CODE is a universal story of a young woman's quest to hear and heed her heart's voice. Set in 1930's Connecticut, Czechoslovakia's Bohemia and New York City, this heartwarming, inspirational adventure follows three friends, two families and one unforgettable grandmother over two continents and four years as it reveals the map for discovering one's own heart wisdom ... and the secrets of the Bohemian Way carried in six copper bracelets.
An old fashioned tale with strong characters, robust action, and contemporary themes, it presents a tonic to quench the thirst of anyone seeking to find their own true path. Part Coming of Age story for every age, it also encompasses Romance, Adventure and Family dynamics as it focuses on personal growth and resurgence through visionary wisdom based on modern day heart-science and the lore of the historic, original Bohemians, the Boii Celts, circa 3000 BCE; all wrapped around a wise and loving grandmother anyone would love to call their own.
The inspiration for the book came in 1999, when Ms. Hahn was traveling in France. A sleepless early morning brought an idea of a childless, traveling Aunt who wrote letters to nephews and nieces, to help them stay true to themselves. When asked how this Aunt knew what she shares, Ms. Hahn began an exploration of the Aunt’s family – her parents and grandparents, which brought her to the grandmother character of Gamma and her homeland of Bohemia.
While Ms. Hahn is an intuitive writer, letting the characters lead the story, she does extensive research for all the ideas which crop up in her imagination. Early in the writing process, she searched Amazon for books conveying her subject of heart-centered living and found the non-fiction book: The Heart’s Code by Paul Pearsall, which documented the modern day scientific investigation of the heart’s intelligence capabilities, separate from the brain. That book documented the fact of 10% of heart transplant patients having completely new interests, passions and tastes that were identical to their donors, despite having never met them. “That science is finally catching up to the universal notion of Following One’s Heart was very invigorating,” says Hahn.
Another area of investigation stemmed from the homeland of the Gamma character. “When the word Bohemia came into my mind, I immediately researched where that was and why it was called Bohemia,” Hahn said. “Turns out, the original settlers of the territory that became the Kingdom of Bohemia and an independent country from 600 AD to 1919, (and is now the Czech Republic), were actually a Celtic tribe called “Boii.” Bohemia literally translates to: Home of the Boii. The novel covers the history of the Boii Celts extensively and has woven the modern day heart research into the lore of the grandmother’s Bohemian philosophy, in which each heart carries its own code; a point postulated by the contemporary heart scientists.
Beginning of a Series
The first draft of the book covered a wide swath of time, incorporating the original Aunt as a little girl along with the grandmother “Gamma.” “But it was not ready for prime time,” Hahn quipped. “My very supportive husband delivered the straight truth when he called it a nice term paper.” While that could have crushed a lesser committed writer, Ms. Hahn buckled down, focusing on Gamma as a driving force in the first book. As it turned out, the Aunt doesn’t even show up in this first book of the series. “What is nice about the Term Paper is that I already have the second and third books outlined, once again documenting the heart-centered philosophy of paying attention to what shows up because to everything there is a season and reason.”
Original Cover Artwork
The beautiful cover for the book was created by Artist Julie Costanzo of Portland Oregon. She worked virtually with Ms. Hahn for over a year to create the oil painting that now wraps the book with a delicious mystique. “Julie and I met via facebook, never in person, yet,” noted Hahn. “We share the love of a book cover that beckons you to gaze at it, after reading a chapter. She began with a photograph of a large heart –shaped rock from my local ravine and we developed the imagery together. But the final beauty of the cover is all Julie’s. I couldn’t be more pleased or proud of it.”
Ms. Hahn and her husband, John Matson, are long term residents of New Hope, PA and published the book under the moniker Conversation Farm. It is available via Amazon and and select independent bookstores.
Book Clubs Welcome
Additionally, Laura Matson Hahn loves to meet with book clubs, in person or via skype. “We actually sat with four book clubs in the early stages of the book’s development and gained so much from the reader’s input.” Now, with book two in the development hot seat, she looks forward to hearing what readers of THE HEART CODE will have to share.
For more information Laura can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Heart Code, Published by Conversation Farm 2013, ISBN 978-0-9890495-0-4
Search Words: Fiction:Coming of Age, Fiction:Visionary-Wisdom, Family Life, Historical Fiction, Romance, Adventure, Young Adult, Grandmother Lit, Soul-Searching Spirituality, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia’s Bohemians, Ancient Celts, Boii Celts, Dr. Paul Pearsall, The Heart’s Code.