Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Dark

My second novel, The Alchemist, explores the strange evolution that makes children into adults, and suggests that what we accept as normal life is subject to radical change, beyond our control. I could trace in it aspects of my own life, which have been creatively processed, but I don’t really want to try. There’s probably nothing to be gained, and possibly something to be lost, in too thorough an examination. I wrote a short story a few years ago, in which a man walks out of his job, finds his relationships with people beginning to fracture, and spends his nights out in the garden digging holes. I liked it without quite knowing what it was all about, until someone, well Ian McEwan actually, suggested it was a writer, leaving his structured, ordered life and, for no obvious reason, digging in the dark. That rang true. I like the dark aspect, the delving and exploring and fumbling and tripping over but picking yourself up and carrying on, not always knowing what you’re up to or where you’re going, till you step back and think ‘Ah, got it, that’s what this is about.’ Sometimes it's much more planned and self-conscious, but it’s that dark aspect, that makes it fun and mysterious and frustrating occasionally but exciting too. 

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