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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

TRADING DREAMS by J.L. Morin Is Occupy's 1st bestselling novel. Meet the author J.L. Morin LIVE in Secondlife at 2pm SLT on Oct 10th for an author reading plus audience Q&A. Event Portal


Organizers will annouce final SLURL location an hour before the event.
RSVP to be notified by email to Use Email Subject: RSVP TRADING DREAMS. You must RSVP to be notified!

From, advanced copies of Trading Dreams are available free to the Press, Citizen Journalists, and Occupy-or-Occupy-Related Event Organizers.

Today, October 10th, one of the first Occupy novels, Trading Dreams, goes FREE on Kindle for five days. It’s gotten some great reviews. Raise the Fist Radio says it’s, "Superb fiction with a side of harsh reality and a heaping of humor!"  This is the third novel by J. L. Morin, whose writing was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2011. She grew up in inner-city Detroit and was gold medalist in the eLit eBook award and has won a Living Now Book Award for her Japan novel, SAZZAE written as a creative thesis toward an AB at Harvard.

1.   Tell us a little bit about Trading Dreams. What genre is your novel?
Trading Dreams is a political and psychological thriller that uses humor to unmask Wall Street hypocrisy to the baseline of the grassroots Occupy movement.

This suspense of considerable subversive power depicts the pitfalls of a new-hire at a bank. When her villain CFO sets her up as a scapegoat for ‘robo-signing’ mortgages with no paperwork behind them, Jerry fights back.

The young career woman teeters spectacularly between acting like a trading-floor cyborg and activism, battling Wall Street corruption . . . as if she didn’t have enough to worry about running from a murderer. The narrative voices are true, revealing a multitude of rivalries.

Living in the shadow of the murderer, Jerry is so troubled that she has pushed the genius part of her personality ‘Saphora’ deeper inside of herself √† la Phaedra in ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE. Her ‘Jerry’ personality copes with the mundane side of life with all-male colleagues at the bank. Spouting 'Financialese,’ Jerry’s inept boss attempts to unravel the murder, but a metaphorical plot twist drawing on ancient archetypes solves the mystery.

2.   Do you hope to convince people to stand up to corporate oppression with this book?

I avoided preaching in my book and instead showed a banker who was victimized by her bosses and turned to the Occupy movement. It’s a ‘turncoat strategy’ for convincing people. Harvard professor Cass R. Sunstein described it really well in a recent article in the New York Times. He ran empirical studies and found that it’s human nature to dismiss information that goes against our’s convictions. But, we might reconsider if the information comes from a source we identify with or begin in agreement with—you know, it’s, If someone like me takes the opposing side, maybe I’d better rethink my position.

3.   What inspired this story?

Three things: Witnessing modernity breaking down the family as I was growing up in Detroit; trading dreams with my best friend in high school by the radiator in our Latin Class—she wanted to travel the world, and I wanted to be a research scientist—she ended up guillotining rats, and I married a diplomat; and trading derivatives on Wall Street and seeing how divorced from reality the modern economy has become.

4. Who do you hope to reach?

People on Wall Street, including the ones up in the sky scrapers, foreigners who have performed liposuctions on American debt and watched their countries blow up, anyone who is outraged at the corporatization of culture and society, really. And all women. There are some messages in there for women that I’d think we all should know.

5. How do the banks manipulate the 99%? How does the bank set Jerry up as a scapegoat?

Banks manipulate the 99% with disinformation. They talk up the stocks they want to dump to get the little guy to buy them. The proof of that is, they never tell you when to sell, only when to buy. The bank puts its newest people on its most underhanded business so that when the bank gets called in for robo-signing, it’s Jerry’s signature that’s on all the bogus mortgages. Robo-signing is a practice that’s still taking place in banks around the country whereby the paperwork for mortgages that have been repeatedly bought and sold is lost, and in order to repackage the debt, the bank has a junior employee sign a note simply stating that homeowners owe their mortgage payments to the new bank with no further documentation to back up that claim. A lot of banks have lost their claims to mortgages that they’ve robo-signed in recent court cases.

6. How does Jerry toss misogynists onto the horns of the Wall Street Bull?

Jerry starts off as a lost lamb trying to compete at sex in a man’s world, but eventually learns the hard way to invest in people and things that give back. She exposes users for what they are and goes off and starts her own vegan restaurant on the ground in the Wall Street area.

7. Do you see the social problems we've been talking about as linked to the banking crisis?

Absolutely. When people are sent all over the country—and this starts in college—and families are broken up, people start to get the feeling that no one’s watching. The social capital has been wasted. That’s where the trouble starts. You have the same thing in corporations where people are churned, re-skilled and shuffled around so they can never get a grip on their lives or control of their jobs. Corporations have many techniques for marginalizing the masses. No one who is drowning in debt, taking medicine to cure the side effects from other medications, distracted by every temptation or spending all his free time in therapy can threaten an oncoming oligopoly.

         Most of us aren’t slaves, just like corporations aren’t persons, so you probably have every resource at your disposal to keep alert. Ask the questions that matter to you.

8. What do you think about police confiscating the books in the Occupy Wall Street People's Library?

It smacks of censorship. What else could be the purpose of taking away books? Corporate America has been tightening its grip on the media more and more over the past decade, probably a reaction to the leveling power of the internet.

Look at the recent New York Times exposé on bogus book reviews called "The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy." This article pans Todd Rutherford for charging $99 for reviewing books, but fails to mention that bigger reviewers, Kirkus most blatantly, have been functioning in the same way all along. Why would the New York Times omit the bigger story that Kirkus, a $70-million-dollar company, has been charging $499 for its reviews for years, or that Amazon allows these bogus Kirkus reviews on its site? To sideline a little guy from publishing? This article appears to contribute to the corporate hegemony, but they forgot one thing. There are too many little guys to squash. With free people reading between the lines, journalism like this will bring on the eventual collapse of a crusty hegemony.

Note from the Occupy Virtual Worlds' organizers: We intend to have a live music pre-concert as well as a live music afterparty!
Stay tuned to for updates!


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