The Hand of Ganesh is out! Even though much of the plot takes place in India, the book reintroduces a few home-grown characters. Let’s just say, the novels are connected. There’s a thread running though them. Before I explain, a word of thanks to Pocol Press, an excellent independent publisher located in Punxsatawney, Pennsylvania.

All my life, I’d dreamed of writing fiction. After years of working as a technical writer and freelancing for magazines (Runners World, Family Circle, New Mexico Magazine).I wrote several nonfiction books: The Santa Fe Trail by Bicycle, Santa Fe On Foot, The Goodbye Baby, From Calcutta with Love. The fiction dream simmered.

Then, in 2005, I wrote a novel based on my father’s experience in the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater of World War II. Beast of Bengal takes place in a military hospital in Calcutta. It involves opium smuggling and the Indian “goondas.” Richard Benet, my hero, has to take command when the dysfunctional hospital commander, Mac McDermott becomes an “empty uniform.” What sustains him in a harrowing fight for not only the hospital but his life, is his love for his wife Rita. The two had been planning to adopt a child but the war interrupted. They write to one another every day and plan to start their family when the war ends.

Clara Jordan runs from trouble and goes forward to meeting a best friend, Arundati Benet. Together the two adoptees will travel to India.

In 2017, I wrote All the Wrong Places, a novel inspired by my years of teaching at Santa Fe Indian School. Protagonist Clara Jordan, an adoptee, moves to New Mexico in search of her Native American birthmother. She takes a job as English teacher at the American Indian Academy, located near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her birthmother, she learns, has died. When Henry DiMarco, the school’s IT director, sweeps her off her feet, she overlooks his strange behavior. He’s secretly a pottery smuggler and when he realizes that Clara knows, her life is in danger. She literally has to run to save her life.

Clara survives and lives on to join Arundhati Benet, the adopted daughter of Richard and Rita Benet. All these characters play important roles in The Hand of Ganesh (Pocol Press, 2022). To learn more about that novel, click on a recent radio interview by Carly Newfeld, “The Last Word,” KSFR 101.f.m. >

Elaine Pinkerton Coleman is a New Mexico author. In monthly blog posts, she opines about adoption, hiking, nature, and the writing life. To follow her blog, click the FOLLOW button her webpage. She’d love to hear from you. Feedback and suggestions welcome.