On Uplifting Reads today is an interview I gave about the novel Angel. It includes, among other things, a recounting of a couple of strange experiences with psychics. You can read the whole thing via the link above. Here is an excerpt:
What message are you trying to send to readers?
I’m not trying to send a message. The questions I’m exploring have to do with how our private and public lives intersect, what is the nature and meaning of love, how do you find meaning in a world of impermanence? I don’t know the answers to those questions. So what I’m doing is painting a picture of someone going through an episode in his life and confronting these questions. What I’m saying is, “Here’s what happened to Paul. What do you think?”
Have you ever had your own sort of angel and/or spiritual awakening?
Writing Angel was probably my greatest spiritual experience. In some ways Ian can be taken as a metaphor for the creative process, for the muse, the spark of inspiration that leads you in a whole new direction.
But while we’re on the whole angel/spirit world kind of subject, I did recently remember a couple of interesting things. The first happened when I had just graduated from college with a degree in theater. At that time, I went to England with a six-month work visa. During my orientation for the program, I was walking around London when a man came up to me. He stopped me and said, “I can see your aura. You’re supposed to be writing.” Being totally taken aback, I responded with something like, “Uh…okay…” “You’re supposed to be writing,” he said again, in a serious tone. Then he just walked off. I recorded this odd encounter in my diary, and went on with my life and into a career in radio. I had not remembered this until I went back and read the old diary.
A few years later, I had burned out on my radio career and fallen into writing as if by default. I was working part-time as a newspaper reporter and had just gotten a contract for my first non-fiction book. I decided to stop at a local New Age shop that offered tarot readings. I remember the reader’s face and his name: Rene. I took some sketchy notes of what he said that day. I think at the time I might have been most interested in an unrequited love affair I was trying to have. In retrospect, one thing in particular stands out. He said that “the angels said” I was supposed to be writing, and I was not. He said, “the mystic nature of places is how you’re going to really connect.”
This must have happened before I went to Washington, so maybe this primed me and the mystic nature of mountains theme became a self-fulfilling prophecy. In any case, it is interesting.