Ended on April 22nd 2016
The first time I died I had just been born…
After writing and publishing five books through my company Cyclops Press, I am about to release my debut novel.
Shibboleth – The Shaman’s Apprentice is a novel of both the sacred and profane. It is a story with moral purpose, based on an extraordinary account of one man’s journey along a less trampled path. The overriding thematic concern of Shibboleth is the search for Truth. It is a meditation on good and evil, and a love story that explores the rift between love and trust.
The first round of crowdfunding in 2015 successfully raised enough funds to employ two great editors, and I was also able to engage a legal opinion. Although the novel is a work of fiction, it is set in a very real world and actual events. Shibboleth is not just a good read – it contains an important message.
The first round funders were the heavy lifters. They got the book over that important line during its development, when no-one knew if I could pull this off or not. For this I am eternally grateful, and wish to say that the writing/development took longer that I expected, but the book should now be ready for delivery to you in just a few months.
The delivery date for the second round funders is much safer, and if there ever was a risk about the book falling over, there isn’t any now. Please share with your friends and help a new author. This project has taken over 4 years of my life, and the risks of working so long without income are very real. I have never received a grant in a career spanning 4 decades, and – with what is happening to the Arts Council at the moment – might never get one. I am offering good value rewards, but I want to tell everyone who suscibes to this campaign, that I appreciate each and every one of you.
Tremendous feedback has been coming in, not just from the editors, but also from a dozen readers from different ages and backgrounds. I could tell you how brilliant the book is, but I’m too shy, so I have added comments from the editors (you will have to scroll down a little more).
The above cover is not the final artwork.
Will Oakley begins his journey with a restless existential romp through an extraordinary period in human history. Along the way he meets a collection of unlikely mentors, and is initiated into an ancient culture misunderstood as an outmoded shibboleth. This vast pool of spirituality and knowledge explains the genesis of mankind and the truth of our nature. It also holds clues to the fate of humanity.
Increasingly Will is drawn into violent acts, including kidnapping, and even murder. He is wounded in love and war, imprisoned and tortured … and, in turn, enlightened. Will’s dark gifts as a spiritual warrior are gradually revealed to him.
Shibboleth is breathtaking in its scope. It has all the makings of a page turning adventure story, complete with lashings of satire, humour, pathos, love, sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, violence, politics, mystery, philosophy, creation, international cities, complex characters … and no less than the meaning of life.
I’ve had a blast reading and working on Shibboleth. The story is sure to have far-reaching appeal – it is packed with compelling characters and events, rich with symbolism and philosophy, and bursting with contemporary history and intrigue. Ogden’s command of language engages and holds the reader, pushing the movement of the story through its paces.
– Brigitte Staples.
Shibboleth – The Shamans’ Apprentice is an amazing read; profound, shocking, hilarious and inspiring, with incredible characters and events set in exotic locations around the world ~ from Bali to Bhutan.
– Din Heagney.
Since 2006 Ogden’s work has focused on series’ of fine art photography, and extensive work with Aboriginal Australian imagery. Ogden’s 2008/9 work ‘Portraits From A Land Without People’ is considered to be the most comprehensive pictorial history of the Aboriginal people of Australia produced.
In November 2011 Ogden released ‘Saltwater People of the Broken Bays – Sydney’s Northern Beaches’, and in November 2012 released the companion book ‘Saltwater People of the Fatal Shore – Sydney’s South-side Beaches’. ‘Slightly Dangerous – The Cyclops’ Cypher’, released in May 2013, provides an insight into the inspirations and influences behind Ogden’s work.
John Ogden is the creator and sole director of Cyclops Press. He began publishing in 1999 with his first book Australienation. In 2009 he published Portraits from a Land Without People, the culmination of many years of research. The award winning companion books Saltwater People of the Broken Bays: Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and Saltwater People of the Fatal Shore: Sydney’s Southern Beaches were released in 2011-12. Slightly Dangerous, the basis for Shibboleth, was released in July 2013. Ogden has also contributed towards several other books, including WAR (2010) and Cactus (2010).
The Saltwater People books won the 2013 biennial Frank Broeze Maritime History Prize awarded by the Australian National Maritime Museum. In 2012 Cyclops Press was recognized with a Pauline McLeod Reconciliation Award for its work promoting meaningful reconciliation.
Thanks for your support for my Shibboleth campaign. With only one day left to pledge, here's an update on the book's progress.
I have revised the limited edition print-run down to a maximum of 200-300 signed and numbered copies. This edition will be supplied to all who helped sponsor the project, and will also be sent out for review purpose. Funds for printing that amount just about met, but still need a bit more from the campaign to pay for design and proofreading.
Another use of this limited edition will be to seek out an international publisher. When it goes to an international commercial release I suspect the book will be edited again (the publisher likes to put their mark on a book) and that the Australian component will be homogenised in some way. This should make the small print-run author's release a collectable … a bit like the Director's cut of Bladerunner.
Thanks to all who have contributed to date. I expect that the book will be in your hands as early as June/July.
Shibboleth (all 500 pages odd) is also the first book in a trilogy that follow this journey: Initiate, Noviate, Adept.