One of the most foundational things with In Serein is that I didn't write it to make money, to make me famous or to win Fantasy Fiction prizes and literary awards.
I wrote it because of itself, to take the journey of real writing full on, without looking over my shoulder at "the market, the publishers, the critics, the sales."
I think you have to if you want to write something that is important (to you) to have written. If we always hold back and try to please all these people, all those book selling systems, how can we as authors ever know what we would have written if we had been truly free to do so?
Well I know now - I would have written In Serein!
Yes, I'm professional author and that's how I make my living. No, I'm by no means rich and could do with a few more bob. But they'll have to come from somewhere else; In Serein is art, not a cash cow.
That's reason No. 1.
Reason No. 2 is that when I wrote this of course no publisher wanted it. It "falls between" established easy-sell categories. It's fantasy fiction, but there are no dragons in it. It's got soldiers and fighting in it, but it is also an intensive love story so you'll have trouble promoting it strictly to the boys, or the girls, and both will be horrified in places. It's got magic in it, but it isn't the sort of fantasy magic that is the staple of fiction.
And of course, it has a lot of straight out weirdness in it. Serein, for one thing. Altogether, not a publishing "product" that makes publishers drool.
But it's a story and stories want to be told, so I shrugged and stuck the whole thing online when it was finished, and said, "There. Now it's published!" and had a glass of red wine, and a laugh.
Now for me as the author, In Serein has become something of a communications device with my energy mind. For me, In Serein is so real, I can hardly distinguish between a memory at sports camp when I was 14, or lying on the top of a standing stone and watching Lucian dispatch a headman's group of soldiers without clothes on.
In fact, I'd say the second is a lot more vivid. A lot more real.
So it often happens when I'm trying to work out something that my energy mind flashes up a scene from In Serein that has information on the topic.
I need to look up the exact thing and wherever I am in the world, I can goto http://inserein.com, put my request in the search engine and Bob's your uncle.
There are a myriad patterns which are straight out of In Serein that have found their way into books and trainings. See the Vortex pattern for a simple example.
So that is reason No. 3 and as time goes by, this is the most important reason. In Serein is free online so I can have access to the actual wording at any time *I* need to look something up.
But it's also nice that other people can read In Serein.
I love the way how complete strangers from anywhere in the world happen upon it by accident. It's a magical book, that's how it should be.
So thanks reader for the question, I really enjoyed thinking about it and writing the answer.
I love In Serein. Best experience of my life as an author, and I mean that in quite a Lucianesque way
Long may it serve to intrigue and challenge, and if you're an author, I hope that one day you too will let go of all and everything and do something like this - crazy but ultimately extraordinary.
SFX Jan 2012