A friend wrote to me today on Facebook – ‘Isn’t it better to concentrate on the good you do, than the hurt you get?” Yes, of course. He also warned me against showing my ‘demons’ to younger fans, and that’s something I’m very aware of. It has made me post words and pull them away, because I don’t know who is reading this. Any writer shares their ‘demons’ and ‘angels’ in novels, they make good fantasy, but in a book they are allowed to do battle, and so come to resolution and meaning, and that was the process specifically denied to me in a novel that got far too close to real life. I’m sorry to younger fans if this blog upsets or disappoints, and delighted to hear anyone telling me to SHUT UP, as an old bore. The author is not the books, and many say never meet the author, but think of me and all the boring words on a blog as one of those grumpy, flawed, arguing ‘grown-ups’, you don’t need to understand, trying to bring it all home, and honour the fans as well.
It’s not just about my hurt though, it’s about the publishing industry. It’s about how real writers must be protected, how there is a sacred trust between an editor and author, and about how if loved characters are to live and do good in our hearts and imaginations, the unacknowledged legislators of the world, there cannot be too great a gap between what goes on on the page, or the values those pages contain, and what goes on among the people making those books, films or TV programmes. We really could learn a great deal as humans studying the fragility and loyalty of wolves. If people read between the lines of my ‘awful screed’, in a Letter to an American Editor, they might see the love and innocence that made this happen, an idealism as new as the extraordinary world, that is always reborn in the vision of the next generation, and very much mea culpa in this too, because love is also a wound we must sometimes be careful of. ‘When there’s no hatred in a mind, nothing can shake the linnet from the leaf” – but speaking what goes dark can also bring back light. Novels, paintings, music speak that to the world, despite the individual realities of everyday lives, caught in the partial moments of their conception. I cannot say enough how I lost myself, and must take responsibility for that. But innocence must grow into full responsibility too, real knowledge of each other, sometimes dark and light, while some sacred things were very badly challenged, and it was wrong.
If I can find a way back, even in my own shame and fear, anyone can, and the way back is talking to everyone and hiding from nothing now. Knowing too that girls and boys, men and women, we so deeply need each other. I’m extremely proud when I hear fans have been inspired, moved and especially helped, and it makes me angry with myself, but more so with publishers, editors and agents, who simply don’t see the trust they carry in the living world, in the scramble for loot. I became a child hurt by my own publisher, I mean that with great respect to all children, and don’t want hurt and disillusionment to be the real ‘child of our time’. It’s why I asked for poems and feelings about the fear and guilt adults engender in the young, with our talk of man’s destruction of nature, Gobal Warming, the end of the world, important as it is. It is a paradox, but we must love and understand each other too, as best we can, to really value extraordinary nature and protect it, since it’s where we come from. It’s another theme in Scream of The White Bear. That’s why I have to fight here for fans, me, books and against a really terrible culture that is developing, because otherwise I might as well give up writing. Anyone can write to a publisher here too, young or old, and they will be taken seriously, never judged wrongly, perhaps heard as a real friend, while there are many ways of doing good, in books and far beyond them too. I hope so, because that’s what Larka teaches Fell, and why Fell finds his own power to fight for himself, life and others too, and to ‘see in the dark’ as he tries to protect the feminine. I forgot masculine and feminine are first crucially inside us all. The greatest plot-line is the recovery of hope though, and the triumph over the real dark – meaninglessness, isolation and disconnection. DCD