Michael Grace, a recently laid-off writer, is a respected fixture on the LA coffeehouse circuit, where he reads his poetry, excerpts from his well-reviewed but under-read novels, and performs original songs. During a psychic reading–a gift from his previous employer–Michael comes to believe that it's possible he is the reincarnation of Walt Whitman. The next day Albert Brennan, a lawyer who's also a fan, tells Michael that a mutual friend told him that Michael is Walt Whitman reincarnated. Even though Michael tells Albert that he's not sure that's true, Albert presents Michael with a plan: He offers to sue the publishers of Walt Whitman's work for 150 years of back royalties.
Although Stephen Smoke is well known for his psychological thriller and mystery novels, as well as the non-fiction Bill of Responsibilities series, he also has written two well-received inspirational novels (Trick of the Light–optioned for film by Hemdale Films, which won Best Picture Academy Awards for "The Last Emperor of China" and "Platoon"; and Cathedral of the Senses, "a moving and beautifully-written story that deals with the popular 'now moment' philosophies in a highly entertaining way."). While the inspirational novels are mystical and philosophical, the stories are not preachy, and entertainment is always the most important element. Many of the same metaphysical and philosophical themes in Trick of the Light and Cathedral of the Senses, are also in I, Walt Whitman.
Like Stephen's other inspirational novels, music is incorporated into the story. Each of the three inspirational novels has an embedded soundtrack in the iPad version of the novel, and all the songs are available via iTunes, Amazon and other popular music download sites.