Interview with Jim Metzner, author of Sacred Mounds

Today on the blog I am very excited to be hosting Jim Metzner who is currently on Blog Tour for Sacred Mounds! It's a wonderfully unique read - you can check out my review here.

Hope you enjoy getting to know Jim and learning more about Sacred Mounds!

Hello Jim and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Sacred Mounds!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

Best known as the creator, producer and voice of the "Pulse of the Planet" radio series and podcast. I've been recording soundscapes for forty years.

What inspired you to write Sacred Mounds?

Ancient earthworks, many of them forgotten, plowed over, representing an early form of spiritual practice. Something unknown, buried, created for a higher purpose – fertile ground for metaphors!

What research did you undertake when writing Sacred Mounds?

I visited many of them and spent time with the Natchez – the last known tribe observed to interact with the mounds, according to the diaries of Jesuit priests in the 17th century. I became friends with the principal chief of the Natchez Nation, Hutke Fields, who wrote the foreword to Sacred Mounds.

What would you like readers to take away from reading Sacred Mounds?

The novel explores a question which – sooner or later - we all must face: why are we here?

What was your favorite scene to write?

Any scene with Hilton in it was fun to write – he's the perfect foil for anyone, including the author, who takes themself too seriously.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

There were many – the novel deals with two timelines that ultimately become intertwined.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

It's the one thread that's held my many careers together.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

When I was writing Sacred Mounds - first thing in the morning, rain or shine, at least an hour.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

Finishing Sacred Mounds! It took decades.

Who are your writing inspirations?

Lately, Steven Powers, Mark Twain, Rene Daumal, but I've been influenced by many.

What was the first historical novel you read?

The first I remember reading was the entire Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian, wishing it would go on forever.

What is the last historical novel you read?

One of the Saxon series by Bernard Cornwell, can't recall the title. He's a master craftsman.

What are three things people may not know about you?

I've been an actor and a singer/songwriter. Believe it or not, I opened for Pink Floyd when the debuted Atom Heart Mother in London's Hyde Park in 1970.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I don't think about choosing or writing in a particular genre. Midwife the story, genres come later.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

I'm open to any time period in a well-told story.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

Fly-fishing, tying flies, learning to draw.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

Looks like it'll be a series of mini-memoirs.

Thanks for stopping by today, Jim! Congrats on the release of your book!

Sacred Mounds by Jim Metzner

Publication Date: June 16, 2020
Adelaide Books, NY (print); Skyboat Media/Blackstone (audio)
Paperback, eBook & Audiobook

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Cyclonic hordes of insects, a telepathic despot, body-swapping sex - just a few of the surprises Salvador Samuels encounters when he finds himself swept back to pre-colonial times walking in the moccasins of a blind Indian - who, in turn, has been transported into Salvador's body in present day America. Four hundred years apart, they're bound by a common mission to rescue our world, aided by the mysterious presence of the mounds. Thousands of these ancient earthworks once dotted the landscape of North America. We still don't know why they were created. Sacred Mounds suggests they are as important today as when they were made over a thousand years ago.

Sacred Mounds, a first novel of magical realism and historical fantasy, weaves the stories of two men, each a stranger in a strange land. With the help of two remarkable women, they must find a way to save our planet and return home.

From Jim Metzner, producer of the Pulse of the Planet series and podcast, with a foreword by Hutke Fields, principal chief of the Natchez Nation.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


"This is a rollicking, thought-provoking, rollercoaster of a novel. It's time traveling on steroids, but it asks big questions. Bravo." - Ken Burns, filmmaker

"After decades of most American fantasy writers echoing European fantasists and using European myths, it's refreshing to see an extravagantly imaginative writer go into the history and myths of the Natchez nation... We have a chance to see our own culture through the eyes of a native of the Natchez civilization, so the view is double -- us seen by them, them seen by us. It's amazing to read something so fresh and vivid tying us back into the roots of this land and the people who knew it first." - Orson Scott Card, author "Ender's Game"

"Jim Metzner's Sacred Mounds draws you right into the action with high energy prose, strands of mystery floating in the wind, and lively characters. A great read, with Metzner's usual deep insights into the amazing workings of the natural world seeping into you while you are caught up in the flow. Enjoy!" - Robert Thurman, President, Tibet House US

"Metzner’s time-bending style is interwoven in a well-researched novel about the great Natchez Nation and the mysterious mounds across the midlands of America. This is a witty and inventive historical fantasy that seduces with twists and turns accompanied by lively street wise contemporary dialogue. It will keep you magnetically amused right up to the surprise ending." - Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Member, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation, MT

"There are not enough words to fully outline the rich, complex and historically and culturally accurate setting of this tale of supernatural heroism. The novel folds ancient traditional wisdom into the seams of its story with the author’s well-honed narrative skills, delivering the tastes and flavors of its mingling times and cultures with ease and aplomb. One ends up feeling not like an onlooker, but an active participant in the events. The book is hard to put down. It’s a page-turner, but an intelligent one; one that asks more questions than it answers and left, for one, this reader hoping for a sequel." - Lee Van Laer, Senior Editor, Parabola Magazine

"The tribe’s descent from late prehistoric mound builders connects the Natchez people to one of North America’s most intriguing puzzles. Archaeologists know how the earthworks were built, but excavations cannot reveal what these monuments meant to the native people who built them. With Sacred Mounds, Metzner embraces the mystery to weave a story across time and cultural boundaries." - Jim Barnett, author "The Natchez Indians: A History to 1735"

"Jim Metzner can really spin a yarn. This story is filled with historical reality as well as spectacular descriptions of what could be. Jump into this book. Feel the challenges of the characters. Join with the Shining Ones. The adventure is yours!" - From the foreword by Hutke Fields, Principal Chief of the Natchez Nation

About the Author

Jim studied acting at Yale Drama School and enjoyed a brief career working as a singer-songwriter in London, where he opened for TRex, Free and Pink Floyd. He has been producing sound-rich audio since 1977, starting with the ground-breaking short format radio series - You're Hearing Boston. Metzner's other award-winning series include You're Hearing San Francisco, You're Hearing America, The Sounds of Science, Voices of Innovation, and Pulse of the Planet, which has been on the air since 1988 and is now heard widely as a podcast. He has recorded all over the world and received major grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Grammy Foundation.

Jim has given presentations around the world as a Fulbright Specialist. For more information visit and You can also find him on Facebook and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, February 24
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Thursday, February 25

Friday, February 26
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Sunday, February 28
Review at Jessica Belmont

Wednesday, March 3

Thursday, March 4

Monday, March 8

Wednesday, March 10
Review at Coffee and Ink

Monday, March 15

Tuesday, March 16

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