About Victor Smith

Victor E. Smith, a lifelong generalist with a diverse resume, sees himself as a scribe of the realm “in-between.” Writing largely visionary and historical fiction, he seeks to observe, absorb, and express those close encounters between the spiritual and material universes that form the unique adventure called human life.
Vic is the author of The Anathemas: A Novel of Reincarnation and Restitution (2010) and Channel of the Grail (May 2016). He is a core team member of the Visionary Fiction Alliance.
For further information, visit his website, victoresmith.com.

Carl Jung and Visionary Fiction (Part 1)

Psychological Fiction versus Visionary Fiction

It may come as a shock, or at least a revelation, to Visionary Fiction readers and writers that Carl Jung, the eminent Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology, defined Visionary Fiction and described it in detail in a lecture delivered in 1929, “Psychology and Literature,” included in the volume Modern Man in Search of a Soul. Rather than the narrow sub-genre it is often reduced to, Jung depicts Visionary Fiction as a super-genre that forms one of the two major divisions of artistic production: “I will call the one mode of artistic creation psychological, and the other visionary.”

To differentiate the two: “The psychological work of art always takes it materials from the vast realm of conscious human experience—from the vivid foreground of life, we might say.” What is generally called realism.

The latter [visionary] reverses all the conditions of the former [psychological]. The experience that furnishes the material for artistic expression is no longer familiar. It is a strange something that derives its existence from the hinterlands of man’s mind—that suggests the abyss of time separating us from pre-human ages, or evokes a superhuman world of contrasting light and darkness. It is a primordial experience which surpasses man’s understanding, and to which he is in danger therefore of succumbing. The value and the force of the experience are given by its enormity. It arises from timeless depths; it is foreign and cold. Many-sided, demonic and grotesque. […] The primordial experiences rend from top to bottom the curtain upon which is painted the picture of an ordered world. And allow a glimpse into the unfathomed abyss of what has not yet become. Is it a vision of other worlds, of the obscuration of the spirit, or of the beginning … Continue reading

Maria Barry, VF Publicist, Joins The Alliance

What follows is a compilation of several posts Maria Barry made to the Visionary Fiction Group blog on Goodreads.com. She agreed to our reposting them, with a few editorial liberties, here on the VFA site.

About Maria Barry

I am a publisher/publicist, part of the UK based John Hunt Publishing Ltd. My background is mind, body, spirit – nonfiction. But last year I took on the role of publicity for a number of our fiction lists, these are multi-genre lists, fantasy/SF/Romance/Historical and Visionary Fiction. I am actually based in France, but due to the way the John Hunt system works, we can be anywhere in the world as long as we have internet access. I am the longest current member of the team apart from John Hunt himself!

I am Jan Krause Green’s publicist for her book, I Call Myself Earth Girl  and she has been very successful in her initial promotion for her title. But it can be hit and miss for authors. Generally the successful authors are those that put in the most effort. But not every author knows where to start and how to keep the momentum going.

I have just joined Visionary Fiction Alliance, and would like to get as involved as possible in promoting VF as a genre. I’m looking forward to being part of this discussion. As publicist, I have to keep things current, watch out for opportunities, not just for reviewing/selling, but also to learn.

About John Hunt Imprints

For JH imprints: General fiction is Roundfire Books, which covers all genre of fiction. Cosmic Egg covers fantasy, SF, and most of those titles have an element of Visionary Fiction:  Gem’s Story, Wellsprings, Orders from Above. Then fiction creeps into some of the other imprints, in particular Soul Rocks which has Jan’s title … Continue reading

Visionary Fiction: Under the Influence

Reading

I don’t recall learning to read. Nor do I remember ever not reading. With two parents who read and wrote as regularly as they breathed, it was natural to follow suit. I grew up on an isolated farm without a radio or TV, so books were it for information and entertainment. But I was a lively kid, which induced me to act out what I was reading, often bribing or coercing my younger brothers to participate in my skits as the supporting cast.

Two formative factors emerge here: the reading habit, of course, and the sense of direct involvement with what is read. I didn’t read just Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. I knew Tom and Huck personally; I talked to them about their adventures, and they let me in on things they never told Mark Twain. Reading fired my imagination, then prompted me to visualize scenes that embroidered what I had read, and finally led me to verbalize, if only to myself, those spontaneous mental dramas.

Challenging

Fast forward to a college class in Shakespeare. I became so enthralled with Calvin Hoffman’s The Murder of the Man who was Shakespeare (1955), an alternative Shakespearean authorship theory, that I spent the semester on a paper that I imagined would topple established scholarship by proving that Christopher Marlowe was the actual bard of Avon. I obviously did not succeed—I don’t even remember my argument—but this experience taught me discernment in studying what the anointed experts wrote. My fascination with challenging mysteries, something I seemed born with,  morphed into an intellectual rebelliousness. “Question authority” became my mantra, and authoritarian history became its first target.

Destiny, that dreadful beast, had me born and raised in an uber-religious environment. The college mentioned above was a Catholic seminary into which my parents and … Continue reading

Special Offer on Works of Monty Joynes, VF Pioneer Author

 

Just today, Sept 4, 2013, I received the following email from Monty Jones, author of the classic Visionary Fiction Booker series (Naked into the Night, Lost in Las Vegas, Dead Water Rights), and I want to share his generous offer on what may be the final edition of his printed works with members of the VFA:

Hi Vic,
Pat [Monty’s wife] and I have worked for the last month to get my pioneer visionary novels back in circulation after the publisher delisted them after 16 years. Pat was also able to put up the 5th novel in the Booker Series, Psalm Maker, which had not been published. These are now Kindle books, but we are planning to put them up on additional platforms.

I hope that you will help us spread the word that these books are now available. Note the good reviews that these books got on publication.

We purchased 100 sets of the four Booker Series novels that we are offering at a 50% discount. When these trade paperback books are sold, that’s the end of them unless we can attract a new print publisher. I will inscribe each book as directed by the buyer. Sorry, I cannot offer single books.

We have another book coming out this year that qualifies as “visionary non-fiction”. Confessions of a Channeler is the title.

For further info and to order, go to http://writingasaprofession.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/visionary-fiction-the-booker-series-restoration/

Also watch for my forthcoming interview with Monty Joynes here on the VFA site.

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PURE VISION by Perri Birney: Da Vinci Code Knock-off or Pristine Vision?

Pure Vision: The Magdalene Revelation by Perri Birney

The yellow lights came on, flashing furiously, at the blurb describing  Perri Birney’s, PURE VISION, The Magdalene Revelation: stolen ancient artifact…dangerous journey…legendary treasures…clandestine pseudo-Masonic group.  Not another one, I protested, all 586 pages of it. I admit to having been addicted to such yarns in the pre-Da Vinci Code era, lapping up everything of the type, fiction and non-fiction from Holy Blood, Holy Grail to William Valtos’s La Magdalena, so overindulging  that by the time Dan Brown’s tour de force came out, it was old hat. Now, post-DVC, any book paired with The Da Vinci Code or touting a similar storyline makes me buggy; my reading list is plenty long.

However, I am currently on a mission to taste all flavors of works labeled visionary, metaphysical, spiritual or any combination of  thereof, aiming  to sort out when and how these related genres are the same, similar, or different. And since I first encountered Birney through the Visionary Fiction Alliance, I felt I owed what her Amazon Editorial Review touted as an “epic novel with feminine echoes of The Da Vinci Code” a fair hearing. If nothing else, it might help in judging  whether any of the ubiquitous DVC knock-offs of the breathless, globe-trotting, save-the-world variety might qualify as worthy Visionary Fiction.

A couple of disclosures here. First, as someone who knows the heroic task involved in producing a coherent  first novel, especially such a lengthy one, I consider it a mortal sin to cast aspersions on the effort; worst case scenario, I’ll … Continue reading