I have never looked anyone in the eyes. Well, sometimes I might try, but it feels uncomfortable.
I don’t know if I ever looked anyone in the eyes, but I do remember a moment when I realised why I couldn’t do it…
I remember knowing that it was something that everyone else did – look people in the eyes. I didn’t really know why. I always found it useful to half lip read in case my ears failed me.
But one day, sitting in the back seat of the car, I was probably about 8 or 9 years old, when I was overcome with paranoia – What if people saw bad things about me, that I didn’t even know about?
Because, yeah, when people look into your eyes they can read your mind. That’s right, isn’t it? That’s what I thought. Maybe I still do think it, I don’t know. But it was right at that moment when I realised it – I was terrified that people would discover something bad about me. Something really terrible. And I didn’t even know about it.
Fast forward a few decades and I decided to write about this feeling. Maybe I could work it all out if I wrote about it.
So I wrote. The words just poured out of me. It felt like ancient memories from lifetimes ago. At some point I thought – there’s a book in this.
So I just kept writing, from a fiction point of view. But also from the point of view of stepping into the novel – into the landscape, into the main character, into the life and times of wherever this place was.
It was an interesting dance flicking between ordinary reality, and the other very real place of the book. It was like I got to step off the train and I found myself on a platform for a place that I didn’t entirely know, but knew at the core of my being. I was there.
I didn’t write My Life as a Magician. The book wrote itself, and I was just lucky enough to go along for the ride.
My Life as a Magician is a bittersweet tale where music and cosmology collide with the dark arts.
Available at all good bookstores and direct from me here 🙂