Interview with Author Tui Allen

tui4visfic

Eleni Papanou interviews Tui Allen

Hi Tui. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview. I have to say, Ripple: A Dolphin Love Story deserves five stars for its originality alone. You’ve truly done something visionary here, and I can see you put your heart and soul into the story. It was a pleasure to read and a pleasure to conduct this interview with you. Before we start, why don’t you tell us the meaning of your name.

I’m a New-Zealander. The tui is a bird, native to my country. It’s slightly larger than a blackbird and appears black from a distance, but the plumage is overlaid with a shimmer of iridescent blues, purples and greens. It has a white tuft at the throat and a tracery of white across the shoulders. They have a beautiful song.
Here’s a picture.

What inspired you to write this story? 

It was during my youthful ocean sailing voyages that I found much inspiration that later became the story of Ripple. But it really started even earlier, when as a teenager I discovered the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I memorized The Ancient Mariner and would recite it silently when alone on watch at night sailing across the Pacific. Coleridge and Richard Bach are my greatest literary influences. Although my plot is completely different, Ripple shares three things with AM.

  • The ocean setting
  • The presence of the spirit world
  • A message of respect for the living things of the sea

The non-human point of view is something Ripple shares with … Continue reading

Interview: John A.A. Logan

Michelle Gordon interviews John A.A. Logan

John A.A. LoganDo you believe that we are all, every one of us, connected on an energetic level? Why?

I suppose my instinct tells me that this is true. Twenty-four years practice and study of meditation and yoga also predispose me to see the world from that viewpoint. I was brought up on a farm, where the energy of animals and natural surroundings, forests, fields, insects, snow, sun, may have left me with a sense of the inter-connectedness of things. There were people of all ages on this Highland Scottish farm, from very young children to a very elderly First World War veteran, and again, everything and everyone seemed connected. This kind of life seemed to prepare me later for the Taoist or Yogic ways of perceiving the individual in a matrix of life. I was also very influenced as a teenager by a much older friend who eventually went off to live permanently in Scotland’s only Buddhist Temple. I would walk and talk with him for hours, regularly, over a period of several years, it was like a free education. But my own instinct was telling me that we are all interconnected spirit, from one source, and destined to return to that source, even before I was fortunate enough to have a friend who could help me articulate this.

Have you ever had a spiritual experience, involving synchronicity, angels or spirit etc?

On the farm as a child I often experienced nature as a numinous, and luminous, thing. Lights and colours of trees and plants, even the sound of wind, could be both delightful, and … Continue reading

Guest Post: Setting the Stage: Visionary & Metaphysical Fiction

Karen M. Rider

Genres

Setting the Literary Stage for Visionary & Metaphysical Fiction

Rapid-fire change is ongoing in the publishing industry—and it’s not just in the way books are produced, marketed and distributed. Perhaps like no other period in literary history, writers are experimenting with voice, style and format. Such literary exploration arises from both a writer’s creative urge and in response to market trends. This has led to the emergence of new genres and a shift in the way books are marketed and categorized. On physical and digital bookstore shelves,  we find books grouped as  “alternate historical fiction”, “slipstream” and “paranormal romance.” These categories may arise from official sources (e.g., the Library of Congress), publishers and sometimes from authors and readers. Rarely is there agreement and many books can be placed in more than one category. For example, novelist Alice Hoffman’s book The Story Sisters has Library of Congress designations as Fiction/Psychological fiction/Loss/Mothers & Daughters. The same book has been described as a literary magical realism (for which Hoffman is most widely known) and mystical fiction. (It even popped up under fantasy on my Goodreads profile—and this book is definitely not Fantasy.) M.J. Rose’s series of novels dealing with the quest for tools that can reveal past life memories (The Reincarnationist, The Book of Lost Fragrances) are categorized as suspense right on the cover. On Amazon, these books were once listed under both suspense and occult; now you can find them under metaphysical.

Within a major genre, the waters in which we swim get even murkier. The sub-genres of the speculative fiction market have always … Continue reading

Reflections of 2012

Thanks for supporting the VFA!  We look forward to another year of posts, book reviews and insights from visionary authors.

Here are some of our highlights from 2012:

The article that started it all – read how the VFA began.

Relevance Of Visionary Fiction Series

Visionary Fiction Challenges Our Species to Evolve – Michael Sussman

Relevance of Visionary Fiction in Today’s World – Sandy Nathan

Visionary Fiction: Its Relevance in Today’s World – Jodine Turner

Visionary: Fiction of the Future – Saleena Karim

Visionary Fiction – Light Carrier Of This Dark Age – Eleni Papanou

Relevance Of Visionary Fiction – Margaret Duarte

Special Guest Post

Story vs Message: Striking the Balance –  Randy Davila

Margaret Duarte’s surprise response from Dean Koontz regarding a post she wrote about him.

2013

From the Visionary Fiction Alliance

0

A Letter From Dean Koontz

Editor’s Note: This post appears courtesy Margaret  Duarte’s site (slightly edited).

By Margaret Duarte

I’ve been blogging for over two years now , and lately I’ve been doing some serious soul-searching about the value of working so hard.

Then today (16 October), I received an email from Dean Koontz concerning the post I wrote about him here at VFA, and it has energized me in a way I haven’t felt energized in a long time.

Dear Margaret,

My editor at Bantam, Tracy Devine, sent to me your lovely post at Visionary Fiction Alliance, and I’m asking her to forward this to you. I was quite touched by your words.

After a long career as a novelist, I’ve learned that what anyone writes about my work, good or bad, will only occasionally, very occasionally, be written with true insight regarding my intentions. For so many years, I have denied being a horror novelist, never thought I was, and struggled to prevent earlier publishers from putting that word on my books.

You got to the heart of what I try to give readers when you mentioned hope and healing, and spoke of seeking to “help readers see the world in a new light and recognize dimensions of reality they commonly ignore.”

If you will provide my editor with a mailing address, I would like to send you two inscribed books that are close to my heart.

Best wishes,

Dean Koontz

Oh my, talk about synchronicity!

Thank you, Dean Koontz, for taking the time to inspire a fellow writer to not give up.  Ever.

I’m back.

Margaret

0

Babylon 5 – Visionary Fiction on the Small Screen

By, Eleni Papanou

“‘To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.’” Captain Jeffrey Sinclair

With the recent passing of Michael O’Hare, I thought it was the opportune time to write about  my favorite example of Visionary Fiction on the small screen, Babylon 5. The series is mostly  written by one  man,  J. Michael Straczynski, as opposed to a team of writers, which is typical in a television series. Perhaps that’s why the visionary scope of this series is so strong.

 The setting is a space station that serves as a bridge between alien cultures, some of which were at war with each other.

 Monologue from the opening  in season one:

“The Babylon Project was a dream, given form. Its goal: to prevent another war, by creating a place where humans and aliens can work out their differences peacefully.”  Captain Sinclair

 

CHARACTERIZATION

Several of the Characters evolve in deeply profound circumstances that will leave the visionary fan satisfied. The two who resonated the most for me were Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik) and G’kar (Andreas Katsulas), who start off as bitter enemies. Londo’s home world, Centauri Prime,  conquered and enslaved all the citizens of Narn, G’kar’s world.  While the series begins after the liberation of Narn, the hatred between the two races is intense. Londo’s thirst for power and G’kar’s lust for vengeance will lead to many dramatic moments that leave both characters struggling between their morality versus the pride they have for their respective worlds.

Mira … Continue reading

Is Dean Koontz a Visionary Fiction Writer?

By Margaret Duarte

Dean Koontz is generally categorized as a writer of horror, and I’m not a fan of horror, so I’m not sure what possessed me to read one of his novels. Maybe someone gave it to me. Maybe I picked it up in a bargain bin somewhere.

What I do remember is that the book’s title was Watchers and, while reading it, I fell in love with a dog named Einstein and an author named Dean Koontz.

Then along came the Odd Thomas series. Again, I don’t know how I discovered it, but I do know that Koontz’s “odd” protagonist nabbed and bagged my heart before I even got to paragraph two. The series is written in first person, from the point of view of a short-order cook named Odd Thomas, who pulls you in with his wit and humility and then captivates you like a first crush with his concern for the underdogs of – and out of – this world.

“My name is Odd Thomas, though in this age when fame is the altar at which most people worship, I am not sure why you should care who I am or that I exist.”

Peculiar things happen to Odd Thomas that don’t happen to anyone else. He communicates with the dead, for instance. Not by choice, mind you. Odd Thomas is a reluctant confidant and can’t resist helping the quiet souls who seek him out for justice.

Almost every page of Koontz’s novels contains a line or phrase that teases and pleases the brain. I’m down right envious of Koontz’s ability to penetrate beneath the surface of things (the beautiful and ugly, humorous and sad, inspiring and depressing) and share observations that vibrate with truth.

Author Announcement – Invitation to guest post

From Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin at http://www.playsonideas.com/

We have just put up a new post about Story — the main topic of our blog. We invite comments.  But I’d like to invite any members of the Visionary Fiction Alliance who find the topic interesting to send us guest posts about Story, what it is, what it means personally, and/or how Story affects our whole culture. If we get lots of guest posts, we’ll put up a new page just for everybody’s definitions and discussions about Story.

If anyone from the VFA wishes to guest post, please email Pat at wim.pat[at]gmail.com

0

Visionary Fiction’s Effect On This Author

By Eleni Papanou

In the not so distant past, writing felt more like a chore. It took ten screenplays and one badly written novel to admit I never felt satisfied with what I produced. It seemed like I wrote only to satisfy an audience, which made the experience hollow. Longing to create something more personal, I switched my focus from high concept to indie and began working on The Cabin. The concept was simple: two ex-lovers, Damon and Flora, meet up for eight lifetimes. The hook: Damon’s memories of his past lives are triggered when Flora arrives to arrest him for assassinating their leader, and they soon end up murdered by  a well-respected elder.  Each lifetime, Damon races against time to save himself and Flora.

After I finished the screenplay, I liked the story enough to explore the idea of writing it as a novella. Starting was easy as a screenplay makes an excellent outline. I expected all the plot points would be the peaks, and the new material would be the valleys leading towards them. Yes, this was going to be easy…so I thought. Little did I know The Cabin was about to  transform into a full-blown epic…something I had dreamed of one day writing.

The move that changed everything…

The Cabin evolved after I introduced a piece of technology from an older screenplay I had given up on. This fortuitous maneuver ended up  connecting the two stories together and made the peaks of The Cabin less significant to the overall story! Other characters entered The Cabin, and it was now too small … Continue reading