In writing my first novel Eden Burning I definitely wanted to explore the theme of forgiveness. Growing up in “The Troubles” I was “troubled” by why it was so difficult for people to forgive. Eden Burning is a historical thriller which brings to life an extreme conflict situation within two families – one Protestant and one Catholic in Northern Ireland during the 1970s. It also investigates how conflict is structural – embedded within stories passed down from one generation to another which harden the human heart. Yet Eden Burning is a novel of hope which allows forgiveness to emerge in unexpected ways. To buy it on Amazon, click here.
In writing The Secret Wound, I knew that my interest was now predominantly in the area of writing about the impact of personal wounded psychological structures within individuals. I understood these to come from not only genetic inheritance but from unmet early emotional needs which caused the characters to seek fulfilment in ways which would never bring deep happiness. Unmet early emotional needs drove individuals in adult life to seek safety and security, power and control, respect and a search for deep affection. These needs, although valid in childhood, are inappropriate to the development of a mature human being and can lead to great distortions in individual responses to life leading individuals to potentially carry out the most terrifying of actions or to the most subtle manipulation of others. These distortions are revealed within the characters of The Secret Wound. To buy it on Amazon, click here.
Themes of a search for Truth also appear in both novels. I am reminded of Richard Rohr’s comments in The Naked Truth – “We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.” A little disturbing in one way for the author of a thriller novel – yet also an inspiration! If the author can open up to a Witness way of seeing the world without judgement – you learn to love all of your characters – without a sense of meritocracy – that this one is better than that one. This takes the author into the world of unconditional love. The author’s plot and characterisation now move into exploring paradox. Each character has aspects of being good and bad, dark and light, expansive and contractive, profound and superficial, selfish and generous, open and closed, truthful and lying.
My third novel with its working title of The Painter will take this to even more mystical dimensions within a murder, mystery and psychological thriller. I want to explore how at least one of my characters can move towards the ultimate goal of human life which is to see the world through non-dual consciousness. There is a Painter who has a great gift in painting from childhood. He becomes so famous that his exhibitions are visited by the King and Queen of Spain. However, his life becomes dissipated, his talent blurred. He employs a Gardener. The Gardener creates the most wonderful of gardens – so wonderful that the visiting gentry love his garden more than the Painter’s art. Jealously is seeded. One day the Painter lies sleeping in an absinthe induced drowsiness. He opens one eye to see the Gardener correcting his painting. Rage is seeded. What happens next? We will find out who the Gardener really is why he kept his painting prowess a secret. The reader will gain insight into what is most scary lies within you – not outside.