If we create our own reality then you will find mine within the words of my writing. If art reflects life then it should contain joy and grief, gain and loss, good and evil and all those hidden depths we sometimes feel shame by; those parts of ourselves usually hidden away far from public sight. Art is sometimes obscene, Art is sometimes confusing, obtuse and obscure but it must also be full of light and happiness, great insight or intrguing puzzles; it must show us a way to look at ourselves more fully and understand what we see with greater clarity.
Over the years and years of my life I have put to paper what has moved me, what has opened my eyes, what has shocked me to the very core and what it is to be me. I was a very lost soul for much of those dark days, months and years and tried to shine a light into the darkness with artifacts of oblivion; still today my consciousness drifts between the fluid and fixed, the focused and obscure. It is open like the books I have created, I am no Dickens or Shakesphere, I was virtually illiterate when I left, what was supposed to be, secondary education. But this did not stop the pen from scribbling, not makeing much sense at times, and over time (with careful editing) a line has been drawn from 15 to 59.
My work explores my interests and so begins with a host of metaphysical topics from Thelema, Cabbala and Christ the Anti-Art. In Before Now and After, my first book, you will get a glimps of what will later emerge as a deeper understanding of religious thought control, esoteric thinking and gnosis (topics that I explore in almost every story), only later does the autobiographical get written. If my life was different 'Wailing on the While' (a shocking tale about three lost children and their journey to adulthood) should have been written before 'Boy Out in Africa' (Looking at my sexual adventures in the politically dynamic South Africa of the 1970s) but 'Wailing on the While' is a traumatic story full of guilt and shame. Only later did I grow mature enough to write about those days, the rape of two young girls and my reactions; and use them as the basis for the story. Later with storys like 'The Meditations of Thomas Sandoski' I try to explain what it means to be Gnostic or spiritual (definitely not 'religious'), how we all are part of a flowing stream of consciousness, floating like fish in a sea of thought and ideas and thus connected metaphysically. These realisations only became clear later in my life and, over the course of my work, a thread can be followed from darkness into the divine light of wakefulness; a journey which never ends and never actually begins.
For some reason, possibly because I grew up in a house with three strong women, most of my novels feature women as their main character. In 'Wailing on the While' there are two girls (the feisty Kay and the dozy Carol) who battle an assortment of oversexed boys and devious men and emerge with dignity. The character Kay is based on the real person, a typical Essex girl who knows how to fight and regularly puts the men around her to shame. The second main character,Carol, is also based on a girl I squatted with back in the 70's and her sad life is all there; exposed in the pages of the book.
In 'Lady Mandrax' the main character is a black girl with piercing green eyes, called Mandy.Of course I'm not black or a girl so the character is based on a really good friend who is a beautiful person and a good story teller. Some of Mandy's experiences are based on the tales my friend relayed on long summer nights over open bottles and oceans of wine.
In 'Dana' the main character is an ex-alcoholic Irish lady. I grew up around lots of Irish people and I've based her on a woman my mother used to drink with. Myriam from 'Killers Moon' is another strong woman who is fighting her past and trying to be happy. It's something I think most of us have to do; especially in England where class and gender politics feature so heavily. If you reach my age and have never known grief or homelessness then you are very lucky.
The men I write about seem to be damaged in lots of ways and I guess there is a little of me in all of them. Being a vulnerable young person with no adult support I can understand my behavior and I hope the readers of 'Boy out in Africa' and 'Wailing on the While' (which are both semi-autobiographical) will do so too. Looking back at my promiscuity as a young teenager makes me a little sad. I guess early experience of sex would make anyone open for exploitation and so I can see my behavior as a direct result of that.
I make no excuses for my writing, some people find honest discussion of sexual activity tasteless, but it's a reflection of the life I've led. Drugs have featured heavily in my life but I don't think they have destroyed it; quite the opposite. Like Keith Richard, the only problems I had with drugs were legal ones. I don't drink alcohol and consequently feel fitter that most people of a similar age. I left school two years early because it was too violent (read Wailing on the While) and was almost illiterate aged 16. Over the years I've worked hard to make my spelling and grammar better and have used positive thinking to break down the walls that lack of ability created.
We can all take our lives back by thinking positively and doing it.
During the recent period of uploading I have managed to edit and deal with the poor grammar that held me back when I was younger. I am proud of my work and so far the 39.000 readers I've had to date agree with me.; I wish more people would pay to read my work but I don't write to be paid; I do it because I enjoy immersing myself in creativity. If others enjoy or learn anything from what I've created it's a bonus.
We've all been spoiled by free content on-line so I understand why people don't want to be bothered paying for something they previously got for free. It would be nice if I could earn something but, as I've said, it's not why I write.
Because I have battled against class and snobbery all my life this subject interests me. Having experienced difficulties in the past I have an intuitive understanding of deprivation (whether it be poor housing or homelessness or habitual behavior). When combined with my psychological training I'm able to get into my character's minds and explain what drives them. I'm also fascinated by the unusual and the unusual in history; or odd historical events. Hence one day I may write about a drug addicted cab driver who has a trans-sexual as a partner (DRIVER) and the next about ghosts in the Middle Ages (Malediction).
'Before Now and After' was started when I was a wayward 15 year old at one of those Stonehenge Free festivals back in the early 70's. I still own the two foolscrap tombs filled with my longhand scrawl which I treasure. As the sound of Hawkwind filled the hash tainted air and rain fell across the field of tents and flags the story just spilled onto the page.
It ended up being written backward with the last section written first, and the first section written last. The narrative is like a teenagers bedroom wall, here's a splash of occultism, there a flash of music and a whole load of other interest thrown into the mix. During my recent rewrite I have made it scan better and it is definitely something I can be proud of today.
The publishing industry never understood where I was coming from and only saw the crazy grammar; all I can say now is thank the lord for internet publishing and sites like Smashwords.