Sunday, October 22, 2006

Faerie Lord

That's that then. I've finished the edit of 'Faerie Lord' and emailed it to Bloomsbury. The good news is that they've stopped hassling me about the title and decided 'Faerie Lord' is as good as they're going to get. They've also designed a fantastic cover (one of the best I've seen in years) and the book is now on schedule for publication in the autumn of 2007.

For those of you who've been wondering -- quite a few, to judge from the emails I've received -- this completes the story of Henry Atherton and leaves me undecided about what to do with the rest of my life. When I've figured it out, I'll let you know.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Mind Readings

Just back from a week's break in Kenmare (County Kerry) one of my favourite towns in all the world which features, among several other brilliant things, a second hand bookshop where I try very hard to bankrupt myself every time I visit. This time, part of the trawl was a book called 'Mind Readings' which was published a few years ago and consists of contributions from a score or more well known writers describing states of mind.

Many of them concentrated on personal experiences of breakdowns, depressions and panics (all of which I can empathise with at the moment) but Melvyn Bragg, the broadcaster, proved as intriguing as ever with a contribution describing how his adolescence was turned into a nightmare by spontaneous out-of-body experiences (OOBES).

During an OOBE, for those of you who haven't met the term before, you leave your physical body to move around like a ghost, passing through walls and sometimes, like Melvyn, levitating to find yourself floating somewhere near the ceiling. It's a phenomenon that has fascinated me for years and provided the subject matter of the very first book I ever published.

I found my own out-of-body experiences puzzling and intriguing, but the young Melvyn was terrified when he had his. Furthermore, he had an intuition that he should discuss them with no-one, so they became his guilty secret as well as his nightmare.

For Melvyn Bragg, the OOBEs eventually stopped of their own accord, but I've a feeling he was right in telling no-one about them until now. Many years ago, I met a girl in her early twenties who told me she was a diagnosed epileptic. I asked if she suffered from grand or petit mal. She looked puzzled and said she never had fits at all. Rather, as a child, she had found herself out of her body and floating near the ceiling. Unlike Melvyn, she told her parents who decided she must be ill and took her to a doctor.

Although statistics show anything up to one in four people have a spontaneous out-of-body experience at some period of their lives, the doctor had never heard of the phenomenon. He agreed with her parents that she was ill.

By the time I met her, she had taken anti-epileptic drugs every day of her life for more than 12 years.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Parallel Worlds

Proofs just came in for the fourth title in my 'Herbie Brennan's Forbidden Truths' series brought out by Faber. The first three books -- 'Atlantis and Other Lost Civilisations', 'Time Travel' and 'Strange Powers of the Human Mind' seem to be doing quite well. (I say 'seemed' because contrary to what many people believe, an author is not kept closely posted about the sales of his/her book. You get the good news or the bad news with your royalty statement, anything from six months to a year after publication... and even then the figures will often reflect only the first few months sales.)

The fourth book, called 'Parallel Worlds', is scheduled for UK publication in January. It's the most speculative one of the series so far -- somebody called it a non-fiction version of 'Faerie Wars' -- but if you like to relax and let your imagination consider some weird possibilities, you'll enjoy it.

In the summer of 2007, Faber are also planning to bring out something very interesting outside of the series I've been writing for them. But I think I'll leave off telling you more about that until nearer the time.

Meanwhile I've started work on the edit of 'Faerie Lord' for Bloomsbury, provisionally scheduled for Autumn next year. Busy days.