ABOUT THE BOOKThe music is haunting. It pulls at you, at your insides, with a force born of some indescribable, primal recognition. The music is directed by that strange man on the stage, dancing the dance of a warrior, his face shrouded, masked. The musician stops suddenly, his action choreographed to the alien song and before the eyes of thousands, in an act of horror heralded only by the terrified scream of a woman in the back of the theatre, takes his own life with a flash of blood and steel.
Only one in the audience responds—a woman, beautiful, athletic, confident. She ascends the stage quickly and tries to stop the blood gushing from the musician's arteries. She doesn't yet know, but this moment will come to define the rest of her life. Fleur Romano is a detective. She investigates the man whose act has shocked the world, and discovers that he once belonged to a hidden, influential group whose sole purpose is to protect an unbelievably ancient secret with the power to change everything.
In his landmark debut, William Burcher gives us a story of rare intensity. He's willing to pose questions of universal significance. What do we lose, as we separate ourselves from the earth and each other? What would the future hold if suddenly something changed with that most fundamental of relationships—the one we have with our own planet?
GUEST POST BY WILL BURCHER
On Writing. Internal Resistance and An Author's Admission
I have a confession to make. I suffer from a not altogether curable disease. The symptoms are highly irregular, though their manifestation is specific. Inevitably they surface under similar circumstances (usually in the presence of a laptop or desk) and include bouts of incessant knee bouncing, biting and chewing of small handheld objects, abnormal craving of caffeinated beverages, and most insidiously, an easily distracted and mercurial affect.
Sound familiar? No? You're lying.
Writers and creative types all suffer from this malady at one point or another. Some call it block, writer's block, artist's block, creative's block—I call it resistance. Because fundamentally this is what I think it is; one part of ourselves resisting another part, an inherently greater part than the resister. The "symptoms" I speak of are some of the more benign variety, as resistance comes in all shapes and sizes, a complete spectrum of obstructive mental patterns that can prevent us from producing our best stuff. None of this is any kind of new, and the best explication of it that I've seen has to be in a series of short books by Steven Pressfield—the author of the Legend of Bagger Vance and Gates of Fire (which is now required reading at West Point, the point being that he knows what he's talking about).
In The War of Art, Do the Work, and Turning Pro, Pressfield says that anytime anyone anywhere tries to better themselves, tries to do something really good and from the "better angels of our nature" (A. Lincoln), he or she encounters resistance, resistance within. This could be anything, really. A new diet, a new workout plan, a New Year's resolution, the attempt to break a negative mental pattern or end an addiction—all of these things are going to bring the devil out, so to speak (for he arises when he sees something lighter and purer than he, shining on him in his dank hole). Creatives encounter the same thing, the same internal reaction, because what we do (create!) the devil knows is better than itself and fears it. And so that darker part distracts and avoids, makes excuses, procrastinates and in extreme cases drives its owner to self-harm.
I just finished a novel, my first, The GAIAD. It took me about a year, though the first four or five months of that year were spent in alternating states of resistance. I was traveling, and my mind told me that this was a legitimate excuse. "You're at the beach! Explore a little! Have fun . . . You've earned it!" And these things were true, but they weren't legitimate excuses. Deep down I knew I should be writing, I should be living, breathing, eating to write. But the resistance was overpowering. Until I called it out.
Call it out. Look at it, and accept that it's there. Don't fight it, because that never works. Haven't you ever been in the throng of an ugly bout of block and tried to WILL yourself out of it and write, despite it? Yeah, the stuff that came out was crap, wasn't it? No, direct confrontation is what the resistance wants—in other words, something to resist! When you look at it, accept it, see it for what it is, it'll fade, like morning mist in the sun. And that separation, that realization, that "there it is, and this is me, and I am not it" experience is the end of block's hold on you. It's de-energized, lessened, weakened and no longer in control. Sure, it'll be there still (a part of me thinks it might always be there, spinning like a flywheel)—but there's space, between it and those Better Angels—and it's from this space, I think, that really cool creative and original stuff climbs up and out of and onto that computer screen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A former cop who enjoys sitting quietly by mountain streams and looking up at the night sky, Will has always known that writing would be his life's work. Toward that end he sought out diverse experiences, professional and otherwise, to enable a style of writing both gritty and real. He writes on topics of wide influence—the current state of our modern malaise, the importance of an expanded presence in space, and our relationship with the earth. He believes that all writers are burdened with the most serious of responsibilities—to lead the minds of their readers to positive places; metaphoric fields both green and golden. He lives in Colorado, USA with his two dogs, Taurus and Sterling.
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