Book by local author explores the ways of the shaman

“I was curious to see what would happen next, because I didn’t know"

Local author Tom Coles signs a copy of his book

Local author Tom Coles signs a copy of his book

He might not have written a book before, but Clearwater resident Tom Coles seems to have hit a home run with his new novel, “Spirit Talker – The Legend of Nakosis”.

“It’s so clear, it’s like watching a movie. You feel as if you are right there when you’re reading it,” said one local resident during the book’s official launch on Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Aboriginal Sharing Center in Clearwater.

The book tells the story of a young man’s induction or initiation into the ways of a shaman. It takes place in North America before contact with Europeans.

Coles said he worked on writing the book for about two years.

“I’ve heard about authors being told by the story what to write. Now I know what they mean,” Coles said.

Sometimes he would get up in the middle of the night and tap out a few pages.

“The story just seemed to flow,” he said. “I was curious to see what would happen next, because I didn’t know.”

Occasionally, when he went back later, he would realize that he had tried to force the story-telling. The writing wasn’t the way he wanted it and he would throw that part away.

Categorizing the book has been a problem when trying to market it.

There is fantasy and magic, romance, adventure, environmentalism, history and so on.

“Someone once told me it’s what Harry Potter would be like if it had been written by James Fenimore Cooper,” he said.

The story revolves around shamanism and First Nations culture, both lifelong interests of the author.

The word “shaman” comes from a Siberian language and “shamanism” has come to mean the basic beliefs that underlay nearly all so-called primitive religions – that the material world and the spiritual world are connected and, in fact, one.

In our modern culture we forget about that connection and that is the source of many of our problems, Coles felt.

The book is written for an adult audience but the writer hopes that it will also appeal to young people. The protagonist is in his early teens when the events in the story take place, he pointed out.

The local writer self-published the book. With a size of 600 pages and a limited press run, the cost is more than he would like. He hopes to work with a commercial printer to bring the price down in the future.


‘Spirit Talker – The legend of Nakosis‘ is available to purchase through the publisher’s on-line bookstore at www. bookstore/title/ 119734000013931267 or it can soon be ordered through outlets such as Chapters, Amazon, Indigo or Barnes and Noble. The book will also be available in hard cover and e-book format. You will also soon find it available at numerous local retailers.