- People say you should write about what you know. Do you have any personal experiences that helped you while writing your book?
Actually, I don’t write from what I know. I write to discover. Creating fiction is a form of meditation where I invite the unconscious mind to participate. The results of this collaboration can be surprising, even eerie, for I often discover thought connections of which I was unaware while composing. I do not plot, I do not outline and I seldom know how the work will end. I suppose one might call my process a form of Ouija boarding to discover what unconscious impressions I’ve been collecting over the years.
There is some danger in this approach, however. It is possible that I’ll get to the end of a piece and won’t know how to complete it. That happened once with a fairy tale. The story depended on a play of words that I couldn’t resolve. I’ve never had the experience again. Quite the reverse. Sometimes stories hit me with a force that leads me to believe they were dictated.
A conscious mind can only record fragments of our experiences. The rest sinks below the surface of memory. If I had to side with only one psychologist’s view of the psyche, I’d side with Jung’s. There’s a mystical portion of the brain which, unfettered, provides a key to the secret room of invention.