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Iwan Jooste, 35, lives in Cape Town, South Africa
I began writing the Isobel Stellar series in 2000 – at first the story was going to be about underwater vampires, so I'm thankful that Isobel came through to me insisting that her story was much more interesting. Many people have asked whether Isobel is a character based on my life. In some respects this is true – however, it must be remembered that Isobel Stellar is very much a real person and that Cathania is very much a real place. Isobel is the dreamer within us all; she is that part of us that craves becoming more than what we believe we can be. She embodies the transcendent – she reaches beyond herself and achieves what can not even yet be conceived of.
I often ask myself: "Have I dreamed up Isobel – or am I her dream?"
Whatever the human mind can conceive of exists as a reality – be it physically manifested or not. I won't delve into this idea too much; instead I invite you to read the entire Isobel Stellar series to understand what I mean.
My inspiration for the story can be attributed to my love for music. In all honesty I dance quite strangely, can only sing well with my head engulfed by a pillow and the only instrument I can play is the remote control for my stereo system. And so I thought, "Why not write a fantastical, slick and very very cool STORY about music?". Writing I can do. And so, Isobel came to me – along with a cast of the most amazing characters and array of fabulous places. (Yes, yes, they are real too).
Music is our universal language. It is what holds the planets aligned, keeps comets in their perfect trajectories, brings the waves to shore – and is that which beats your heart.
Each of us has a story to be told. Each of us has a song to sing. And all of it is unique. Isobel desires to come into our world to remind us that it is the celebration of our uniqueness that is the magic that will empower us ... that will transform us into who we really are. Beyond the illusion, deep within the beat, is the truth. If you read very carefully, and listen to the silence in the spaces between the words, perhaps you will uncover a key to unlock what it is you know you need to unlock. You've been searching for it through all of your lives ...
I hope you love Isobel as much as she loves you. She doesn't mind either way – as long as you never turn your back on music.