John Scalzi asked me to be the guinea pig for a new feature called “The Big Idea” on his Ficlets blog, where an author writes a little essay about a central idea that their book came to be centered around or which influenced the writing of the book. My big idea essay is now up over at the blog. I decided to write about the archetypal mystic journey that is buried at the heart of the book.
Here’s the opening:
One for Sorrow can be read in a lot of different ways, but one of the ways with which I myself became fascinated while writing it was discovering that, at a very foundational level of the book, I was writing a narrative about the path of the mystic. Many mystic traditions bump up against each other in our contemporary, global society, so much so that we often come across items and artifacts, lectures and gossip about the Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mohammed and Lao Tzu, sometimes all in the passing of a day. Without much hesitation, we follow Harry Potter out of his mundane life into a realm beyond our ordinary senses, leave the Shire for the dangers of the wider world, venture through the wardrobe, open the book that allows us to perceive the realm of those that live under the hill or among the nameless, eternal gods on the mountain. We live in a scientific age, yet we still tell stories about discovering and understanding new pieces of reality – which is what science is supposed to do – through means that aren’t accredited in the empirical world of the senses.
If you read it, and also read One for Sorrow, let me know what you think.
Also, I’ll be posting pics from the very awesome launch party sometime this week. I have been so busy the past week, it slipped my mind.