As difficult as it was for Selden Edwards to write his first novel, The Little Book, which had a 30-year trajectory of multiple rejections, being put away, and then rewritten, his second novel, The Lost Prince (Dutton) presented different kinds of challenges. Edwards tells Show Daily, “The first one is built on unfulfilled promise—there’s a lot of yearning and ambition—but no expectations. The second one is the opposite because everybody is saying, ‘Okay, now what are you going to do?’ And there’s the nagging fear that when it comes out, people are going to say, ‘Well, it’s certainly not as good as the first one,’ and of course there’s the accusation of being a one-trick pony.”

The irony is that shortly after he finished and sold The Little Book, Edwards realized that he’d written the first book of a trilogy. So he started writing the second book almost immediately. This time it took only three years to write. Viewing his trilogy, Edwards remarks, “It does have an organic whole—sort of like The Godfather or Star Wars. And the luxury is that it has been laid down already, so I’m really just going in and finding the story. All the ‘unproductive’ thinking that I did for 30 years was really putting together this epic tale that goes from 1897 to 1988—three generations of one family.”

The author has a Ph.D. in depth psychology, an approach to therapy that focuses on the unconscious. As he was writing his first book, he was doing a lot of research on Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Says Edwards, “I tried to make the first book a Freudian book—so it’s a Freudian story. Carl Jung is in the second book, and I tried to make it a Jungian story. I think the main concern that I have in life is that people aren’t introspective enough in their own lives. There is this rich history of the discovery of the unconscious that didn’t begin with Freud but became popularized with him and then evolved over time. I want to tell this story so that people appreciate that—taking advantage of that history is an obligation. It’s like the unexamined life is not worth living.”

This is Edwards’s first time at Book Expo. “I’m a book lover. I grew up in a house where there was always the presence of books. This is like the Valhalla of book fairs!”