A Novel by Robert Gerson
Publication Date: May 1, 2020

Santa Barbara Novel, Robert Gerson


What if you had a once in a lifetime idea that could help people live a meaningful, productive life, but did nothing with your idea?

While creating a new children’s book, author and illustrator, Nicholas, age twenty-two, conceives of an innovative form of money. His idea could dramatically transform how people earn money and make a living. Conflicted about promoting his financial concept, he postpones development and abandons a life-changing future. Instead, he takes an unplanned career detour working as an art director with a company that develops and markets innovative gadgets and gifts.

The Creative Trade unfolds during an idyllic, Santa Barbara, California, summer. Focused solely on his job, Nicholas believes he is living the dream life. He ignores all the warning signs that his success-driven life is slowly unraveling. A chance meeting with Paige, an aspiring musician, and songwriter immediately unlocks a cryptic music and art connection between them. As they get to know each other, Paige witnesses a phenomenon that she soon realizes only she can see. Initially thrown by the experience, Paige embraces the unknown and explores the unlimited range of her creative abilities. Strengthening her connection to this mystifying source of creativity, leads her to a secret relationship critical to Nicholas’s survival and future.

The story takes place in 1979. A decade ending, transformational year when the counterculture retreated from center stage, and the young, urban professional class began its initial ascent. The Creative Trade is a summer journey of mystery and romance, exploring the courage required to sustain a creative life and the invisible depths of human connectivity.

The Creative Trade


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  • Advance previews of the opening chapters. 
  • Occasional emailed newsletters (beginning in September) will feature updates about the novel, audiobook and related media. News about book signings and limited edition items.
robert gerson artist the creative trade eyes
Santa Barbara Novel, Robert Gerson