Burden of Privilege
The Secret Life of Geoffrey Collins

"Once I got going I couldn't put it down. I stayed up late nights to read it... it all came together like a hat and gloves...it made for an exciting read the historical accounts on Tuskegee, Dr. Carver, Dr. Washington and Taylor (first black architecture graduate of MIT) and others were exact beautifully written and inspired...a story of hope."

Historical Resource Coordinator
Tuskegee University
Tuskegee, Alabama

"Wayne, his wife Hazel, and I are spiritual brothers and sisters. We wear the same spiritual uniform of peace. Burden of Privilege is a story of the sacredness of life, probing the depths of the soul and its spirituality. Being a daughter of (former) President Anwar Sadat I can relate to and understand what it is to have a burden of privilege. It is a beautiful story and will make a beautiful movie."

Courage of Conscience Award Recipient
Author of My Father And I

"The world, my father liked to say, could be an Eden if people wanted it to be. He also liked to point out that science could, or at least should, be an aid in making this happen. Many figures in the history of science, he showed in The Secret Life of Plants, had made significant contributions toward the world's becoming a more spiritualized place. But not all of those figures had received the attention they deserved. When I met Wayne and his wife Hazel in New York last year, he gave me a manuscript of Burden of Privilege: The Secret Life of Geoffrey Collins. In all ways, it is a book written in the spirit of the ideals my father held about what the world is really like if we look at it with the right kind of eyes, and what it might become if we put what we learn from looking at the world this way into action. When Wayne asked me to write a short note (for the book), I felt it was something my father would have wanted me to do. Wayne is definitely one of my father's 'people', and I applaud his energy, perseverance, and optimism in bringing this book to birth. I hope, as I know my father would have too, that it enjoys a long and healthy life."

Author of The Divine Life of Animals,
The Beaten Path, Paradise Fever,
This Tree Grows Out of Hell
Ptolemy is the son of Peter Tompkins,
co-author of The Secret Life of Plants

"Wayne Sheppard leads us on an inspirational fictional journey that at times seems all too real. Interspersed in the tale Burden of Privilege Is a multi-dimensional weaving of past lives, shamanic journeys, a true union of equality with very human emotions of love, fear, jealousy, along with hopes, dreams, and profound vision for a sustainable world where the matrix of plants, people and Earth become a co-creative partnership. This is a timely book that everyone needs to read-not only for the sheer enjoyment-but for the way it will very possibly change your life."

Herbalist, educator and author
of Plant Spirit Healing: A Guide to
Working with Plant Consciousness and,
Partner Earth: A Spiritual Ecology

"Brilliant. Insightful. Inspired! First time author,Wayne Sheppard has cleverly crafted a story that weaves fiction together with historical fact. It is both thought-provoking and engaging. Along the way he educates the reader on any number of interesting and diverse subjects, touching on the realm of the shaman and the mystic life of the Maya. We travel from the majestic redwood forests of California to the jungles of Mexico and the vibrant city of Kolkata (Calcutta). The storyline encompasses a multi-dimensional world that allows the reader the opportunity to have an ethereal experience through the author's descriptive words. The storyline is elevating and enchanting."

Producer of the multi-award winning PBS documentary
Opening The Door West

"This story is one of hope and promise, one of awakening and love for the earth and one another. We are at the cusp of either accelerating environmental crisis or the change in heart that leads mankind into true stewardship of planet earth.
I pray this book inspires many to do the latter."

Park Ranger, Craters of the Moon National Park, Idaho

"Wayne Sheppard's engaging, informative and eye-opening work of historical/spiritual fiction follows the gradual awakening of Geoffrey Collins, a college professor who discovers and eventually comes to accept that he is George Washington Carver reincarnated. For the lucky reader, it is an enlightening, entertaining, and thoughtful journey well worth taking, as first-time author Sheppard explores some of the lesser-publicized aspects of Carver's life and genius, while addressing contemporary issues that threaten our planet. At the book's core beats a hopeful heart, an inspirational message for the future, and a cast of very human characters you will not likely soon forget."

Writer/ Editor

"This is an engaging tale by Wayne Sheppard which appropriately falls on the heels of the blockbuster Avatar, which in the Hindu religion describes a deity who descends from heaven to earth. Avatar is frequently translated from the Sanskrit as meaning "incarnation" or "manifestation." These are both important themes in Sheppard's new book. Sheppard draws on animism themes from many different religions and cults. To his credit, he does not pick one religion or belief as being superior to any other, but sees a unity in all these different explanations of 'the Truth'. Geoffrey Collins, the principal character of this story is indeed the reincarnation of George Washington Carver. Sheppard portrays Carver, well known as inventor and botanist, as someone who communicates directly with nature. This same trait is found in Geoffrey, a gifted young scientist of estimable virtue. Geoffrey's all-consuming goal is to save the earth through an incredible invention that is capable of identifying the sources of Earth-destroying pollution. As the story progresses, we are drawn deeply into the truth and beauty of the main characters and their unity of spirit with all forms of life. This is truly a fascinating book! After you read it, you will never look at plants the same way ever again!"

Retired Army Colonel,
CEO and president of
Piedmont Medical Care Corp., Atlanta

"Burden of Privilege is the spiritual journey of Geoffrey Collins, a story which shows how we are all inextricably a part of life, and how powerfully our choices affect the delicate balance of nature. The spiritual journey of one soul inevitably leads the way for more to follow. A good read for anyone who loves nature, the planet, and the gift of life. Since we are all caretakers, we do indeed share a common, Burden of Privilege."

Armchair Poet

"Burden of Privilege: The Secret Life of Geoffrey Collins by Wayne Sheppard is a book of astounding humanity and promise. Sheppard not only brings to life his characters and their relationships but the ideas and responsibilities they have, not as just characters in a book, but as characters who are part of an interconnected world in which the readers also are. This interconnectedness is exemplified in the relationship between Geoffrey and Eva. Their relationship is a true love that may seem fantastical and fictional but is symbolic of real life ideal love. Their understanding, love, and compassion for each other and others embodies Sheppard's perspective on humanity. Moreover, Sheppard writes in such great detail that he illustrates a colorful, vivid, and creative image of his scenes, characters, and themes within his book. It's a cliché often used when reading, but it's quite true for this book: once you start reading Burden of Privilege you can't put it down."

Instructor, Masters of International Studies,
University of Washington,
Bachelors of English, Oberlin College