During recent months, many friends have been posting their dreams. Not necessarily nightmares, but strange and unsettling nonetheless. Stress is said to trigger more vivid dreams and we all have enough anxiety these days to fill a Jungian encyclopedia. I’m no stranger to bizarre dreams—I’ve had some real whoppers. However, lately they’ve been, for the […]
Somehow between Book Expo America and the Lambda Literary Awards, I managed to squeeze in some time to write this short reflection for the Bold Strokes Book Festival in Nottingham, where I’ll be on a couple of panels June 6 & 7 at Waterstones. More on the Lammys later – probably while I’m on a plane, train or bus in the next couple of weeks!
Metathesiophobia: fear of change. It’s something we all share to some extent. Humans like routine. It’s a natural survival instinct that’s ingrained in us. We resist change so that we always feel in control. Fear of change isn’t a bad thing – unless it results in full-blown anxiety attacks, which can paralyze us, force us to reject anything and everything new.
Like most of us, I’m seriously resistant to change; and yet, I adapt to it quickly – almost seem to embrace it. What’s more, I’ve always been a huge fan of reinvention. “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.” (A timely shout out to Walt Whitman, today being his birthday!)
For me there’s a subtle difference between reinvention and change – one is a choice, while the other is thrust upon us. I choose to become something new, when I’m…
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Birdsong greets the dawn in my friend’s back garden. No matter that clouds mask the rising sun. I’ve a party to get to, so I don’t have much time. It’s Tennessee William’s birthday and I’m celebrating in his “spiritual home” – New Orleans, that is – at the literary festival named in his honor. I don’t want to be late.
I attended the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival back in 2001, covering the event as a journalist for Radio Netherlands. It was my first visit to the city known as the Big Easy and I immediately fell under its spell, much like the young writer who arrived in 1938. Tennessee wrote his Mama: “I’m crazy about the city. I walk continually, there is so much to see.”
On Tuesday I got a message from a friend asking if I could account for my whereabouts after the book-signing event on Sunday. He attached a link to a local news story. A body had been pulled from the water in Amsterdam’s Vondelpark, very near the site of a similar crime scene almost twenty years ago – a crime scene that inspired my debut thriller Calvin’s Head. The book I spent Sunday afternoon signing. The book that begins with the grisly murder of a man called Valentine, whose remains are discovered in a Vondelpark pond.
So much has happened since I did this interview six weeks ago for Bold Strokes Books Authors Blog – not least of all the official release of Calvin’s Head. I had to give it a read to remember what I talked about. But as it happens, I did delve into my darker side, which is appropriate for this particular time of year.
Early readers tell me it gave them a scare or two. So, maybe it’s not the ideal bedtime reading for the faint of heart. Or maybe you’ll need to keep the lights on!
Trick or Treat!