While the Quad is generally home to religious pamphlets featuring Biblical verses and doctrine-oriented miniature comic books or high gloss leaflets, the series of walkways was instead home to several cardboard boxes filled with full-length novels. Author Rich Shapero often promotes his new novels with giveaways at various universities across the country including Yale in 2010. This past Wednesday, May 7, he selected Boise State University as the next site of his “The Hope We Seek” promotion. “The Hope We Seek” is a multimedia storytelling experience that combines fiction, music, and artwork into one package that grew and evolved along the same creationary period, as is the norm with Shapero’s other works that he passes out in promotion. This particular project contained a combination of a 432-page hardcover novel, along with a CD of 10 songs and an accompanying pamphlet of song lyrics and illustrations. “Because I have a great passion for words and ideas, I’ve attempted to put my peculiar intuitions into story form and make them available to others,” Shapero said. The novel is written by Shapero, and the music included with it is composed and partly performed by Shapero as well. The CD also features the vocals of Marissa Nadler and the instrumental work of various other artists. Shapero plays the acoustic guitar and mandola on these tracks. The novel follows the plight of Zachary Knox on a journey for gold. He and his newfound companion, Sephy, whom he meets on his path to a mining camp, discover that the workplace they’ve found themselves in the midst of houses a cult with the mining boss, Trevillian, as their dark priest. As described on Shapero’s website, “Zack determines to overthrow Trevillian, guided by Sephy’s cryptic directions—until Hope appears and reveals the astonishing future she has in mind for him.” The online synopsis continues, “Rich Shapero once again holds a dark mirror to the passions that drive us, and the extremes to which we go to find meaning in our lives.” As a primary means of income, Shapero is a venture capitalist, having put forth money toward several successful start-up companies. In particular, he is a partner at Crosspoint and a board member at AristaSoft and New Edge Networks. This has allowed him to produce and give away his newest pieces of writing and artwork in such high volume. “I have no commercial motive,” explained Shapero. “I’m like a street musician playing for whoever might have the interest to stop and listen.” Because of this, Shapero is completely fine with giving his books, music, e-books and tablet-based writing for free. While growing up, Shapero was introduced to new means of thinking and ideas through a group of artists. Having a lesser connection with his genealogical ties, Shapero found his own familial ties in this group of artists that he “looked up to and embraced.” “I’m reaching out to younger members of that same family, whoever and wherever they might be,” Shapero said. He encourages readers and art consumers to contact him if they find something of value within his work. “I know it’s a small group, but there are ‘like minds’ out there that will understand and connect with what I’m doing.” Shapero said. Among his own artistic inspirations, Shapero found a strong tie-in to music and rhythm, therefore tying it further into his own endeavors. “The rhythm and melody of language gave (the text) the power to transport us into the emotional domain of an unseen world,” he explained. “For most of my life, I had little confidence that any of these projects would ever see the light of day. It’s a miracle to me that things worked out,” Shapero said. The author is currently continuing his promotion of “The Hope We Seek” while investing further time into writing his fourth novel.
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