This is part two of Robin Gregory’s interview with author Rea Nolan Martin. For part 1, please click here.
Robin: “It is entirely possible that behind the perception of our senses, worlds are hidden of which we are unaware,” Albert Einstein said. Some of your characters have contact with non-physical beings. Can you talk about what lies beyond “the perception of our senses”?
Rea: Ha! Everything! Our senses are keys that unlock doors to the next chamber, wherein another locked door awaits us, and another, etc. The secrets of the universe are contained in a tabernacle at the epicenter of existence. The observable “seen” world, however, is full of clues if we have “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” as is repeated over and over again in ancient sacred texts. But we have to attune ourselves to that world, which means constantly adjusting and refining our spiritual antennae to new and evolving signals.
An interview with author Rea Nolan Martin, author of The Anesthesia Game. A collection of Rea’s most inspirational essays, WALKING ON WATER, will be released in 2016.
By Robin Gregory
Mother of two sons, professor, editor, novelist, and regular contributor to Huffington Post, Rea Nolan Martin is a visionary writer, one who writes stories of transformation and self-realization. “I have always believed in miracles, and over the years that belief has not diminished. In fact, at this point, I have grown to expect them.” She agreed to talk with me about her life, writing, publishing, and her new novel, “The Anesthesia Game.”
(Editor’s note – Oftentimes our stories are culled from our life experiences – painful, joyful, mystical, paranormal – and forged into Visionary Fiction. Author Rea Nolan Martin tells her tale of how such an experience shaped her newest novel.)
The story behind The Anesthesia Game is very close to my heart. The fifteen-year-old protagonist, Sydney, suffers a life-threatening illness that requires frequent spinal procedures for which she undergoes regular anesthesia. Having spent years accompanying my own child through such procedures, I understood from page one the spectrum of courage (or cowardice) my characters would likely exhibit, patient and family members alike. Having said that, this story is far from a memoir. The personalities of my characters vary greatly from those of my own family. I constructed the characters from scratch, asking myself—what if not one, but all of them suffered some kind of affliction, real or imagined? What if, in order to manage their afflictions, each one of them was also under the influence of her own version of anesthesia? How would they manage to help each other? How would they progress? Or would they? Who would lose a life and who would find one? After the first 100 pages or so, the characters showed me the way.
As a writer of Visionary Fiction, I imagined the child’s disease and the resulting anesthesia, not as a means of sedating her life, so much as awakening it. After all, what value do negative experiences contain if not to hone us and/or those around us? The problem is, at what price the experience? The risks in this story are as high as … Continue reading →
Editor’s note: One of our Visionary Fiction Alliance founding members, Margaret Duarte, wrote a review of Rea Martin Nolan’s latest book, Mystic Tea. You can read the review here. We were so pleased with how Rea represented Visionary Fiction that we asked her to share her perspective on what is important in writing Visionary Fiction, and how she goes about writing it. Here is Rea’s insightful response.
Visionary fiction is a delicate matter requiring a mastery of creative and technical balance. Unlike Fantasy, which generally takes place entirely in realms of the authors invention, Visionary Fiction is best told in the firmament of human physical and emotional experience. For me, at least, the goal is not to write exclusively for mystics, but for readers in the process of awakening. This requires an accessible entry point with opening scenes steeped in familiar culture, grounded in temporal human experience.
Since Visionary Fiction bears witness and insight into expanded awareness, the question then is how to balance the story structure. I have been writing what is now known as Visionary Fiction for twenty years. In my short stories, first two novels, and the third novel, The Anesthesia Gamewhich will debut this year, I maintain a similar ratio of concrete to mystical of about 2:1. Of course (being visionary) I didn’t craft this ratio consciously. However, looking back, I see what I’ve done time and again. This ratio has been so successful for me because it grounds the reader firmly in the third dimension before introducing any significant mystical or esoteric scenes. By the time the story launches into the mystical, … Continue reading →
Visionary fiction is not religious fiction or sci-fi or fantasy.
What will it take for traditional publishers to make room on the shelf for fiction that “speaks the language of the soul and offers a vision of humanity as we dream it could be?”
In other words, what will it take for visionary fiction to be recognized as a genre?
Mystic Tea Finds a Genre
Though I don’t have a cup of mystic tea to help me see through time, I can come up with a simple – if not easy to accomplish – answer to the above question.
For visionary fiction to be recognized as a genre, it will take:
Visionary writers, such as Rea Nolan Martin, with the talent, perseverance, and willingness to write stories from the heart rather than cave to the dictates of what is currently selling.
Contests, such as the Independent Publisher Book Awards, that recognize visionary fiction as a category and award talented VF authors like Rea Nolan Martin awards for their superior work.
Reviewers, such as the impressive number that gave Rea Nolan Martin’s visionary novel Mystic Tea a five-star review.
Mystic Tea on Goodreads
I was first drawn to Rea Nolan Martin’s novel by the following blurb at Goodreads:
A community of quirky, mismatched, and endearing women struggle to find meaning and purpose on a ramshackle monastery in upstate New York. Having spent their lives in service to a church that seems to no longer serve them, they are confused about their own … Continue reading →
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