Many people ask about the themes in my work. Each book is unique in relation to the others so this is difficult to deliver. I don’t repeat a formula. With that said, some common themes appear in all my novels.
Foremost, transformative experience plays an important part in all my stories. My main characters go through a “dark night of the soul.” Through these struggles, they come to some new understanding or state of being. Most times, this is a spiritual awakening or a discovery of magic. I’m quite inspired by the works of Hermann Hesse and Henry Miller, and many of their protagonists struggle with their own psychological dilemmas and existential crises.
I’m also captivated by esoteric concepts and mysticism. Most of my stories contain an element of hermetic thought. I’m fascinated with Rosicrucian doctrines and these appear throughout my work. Spiritual alchemy is an essential element in my protagonists’ transformations. These characters go through physical or spiritual initiations that uncover hidden parts of their souls. Many of these initiations reveal the transitory nature of “the moment” (my poetry also addresses this) or some lesson in Platonic anamnesis, the recovery of what we have forgotten.
Dream worlds are another key component in my work. In my first novel, The Invisible Histories of the Spiral Mountain, the protagonist’s mind fractures into two viewpoints: one is a more focused awareness of waking life, and the other is an archetypal dream world. My second novel, The Erotic Tales of Bucephalus, takes place inside a nightmarish Detroit hotel where dream logic dictates the flow of the story. My third novel, Dominique’s Confession, has the main character discovering initiatory clues within her dreams. These clues often direct her toward certain decisions and often hint at prophecy.
Tragic love stories are central to my plots. I’m interested in how these deep connections with others can transform the main characters. Like real life, many of these connections become frayed or fate drives the lovers apart. I’m obsessed with what’s left of these characters after these relationships. Do these love affairs help or hurt the character? Either way, the connections change them. Eroticism is another aspect examined in my work.
Detroit is another major character in my plots. I set all three of my novels in this ruined city, and the element of death and rebirth plays an important part in all my stories.
Despite these common themes, I experiment with different genres and plot constructions in each novel. Invisible Histories is part experiential autobiography and part magical realist fable. Bucephalus plays with erotic stereotypes. I tried to craft a poignant story about life and awakening within the traditional confines of the erotic tropes. Dominique’s Confession was a history lesson for me. I learned so much about 1920s Detroit and the once epic glamour of my ruined hometown. Through this epistolary examination of Detroit’s history, I was able to weave a love story alongside the occult conspiracies and the gang warfare of Prohibition.
That’s it until next time. If there’s anything else you want to know more about, leave a comment and I’ll try to come up with an answer.