Over the past few weeks, I’ve started my next novel called New Eleusis. I can’t say much about it yet except that it’s an erotic novel. Eleusis is the name of an Ancient Greek mystery school and I’m using that as a template for a Dante’s Inferno-like descent story where the protagonist enters a religio-erotic initiation. Some inspirations I’m drawing from are Lord of the Flies, The Gnostic Gospels, The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick, and the work of the Rosicrucian occultist Paschal Beverly Randolph.
I’m also interested in examining the duality between our physical bodies and our spiritual selves, drawing from the work of David Lynch and the film Persona by Ingmar Bergman. The book will be a deep dive into the uncanny and a symbolic representation of Gnostic enlightenment. I’m interested in it representing the breaking through of gnostic illusion by portraying it as an ecstatic fever-dream.
The main erotica influence so far is the memoir The Sexual Life of Catherine M. by Catherine Millet. I want to use that first-person confessional device, but instead of the events set in the present day it will exist in some lost post-apocalyptic future (or is it the past?), drawing upon the ruined city archetype of Detroit. So in this way, Lord of the Flies will have a powerful presence in the book.
The past few years, I’ve written a lot of erotic shorts to make money. This has taken up much of my time and in some ways I’ve produced some interesting works, but much of it I was creating to market conventions and it wasn’t what I wanted to write as it often boxed me in creatively. I decided a few months ago that I needed to return to writing what speaks to me and this next novel will go in that direction 100%.
I’m excited about the ideation space that I’ve entered. It’s one of the best times of the writing process. It’s a magical time where synchronicities and harmonious events link up and it shows me where I’m headed in life. Every novel I’ve written has had this fortuitous time near the beginning, where I don’t know what the work is but the components channel through me or they push me into a new direction. It’s an exciting moment and I’m happy to enter it. Anyway, I’ll update when I have more information, but I’m ecstatic about this project.