I’m reminded of the time I spent in an Indian yogi’s ashram asking myself that most spiritual of questions. For three days and nights people went nearly mad trying to get a grip on, Who am I? On the second day, as I tapped my primal energies, I imagined myself a lion on Africa’s Serengeti Plain. It became suddenly clear why, as a young man on the verge of life, I had volunteered to measure the rivers of Central Africa. Two years in a tent! I had been responding to a deep urge to ‘go home’.
I’ve travelled ever since. Often as a filmmaker. Greece is a favourite of mine. It’s also the setting of my latest novel, ROXY.
Argentina, Mexico, Finland, from the magnetic North Pole to the Caribbean, from the headwaters of the Indus River to Scotland’s Isle of Skye—these are more geographies that I know first-hand. Given enough time, I’ll turn stories loose on all these amazing landscapes.
I would call Vancouver, British Columbia, my home, if only I wasn’t so restless. Now, my wife wants to go home. Home to England. Well, it was my father’s first home, too. Speaking of whom—on his deathbed, his last words were, “Leave no stone unturned.” He didn’t know it, but he was a guru, himself.
Looking back, the road to discovering who I am is strewn with stones—some precious, some not so much. And, yes, some road kill, too. In life, as in a good story, you can’t always avoid the dark side.
I Swallowed a Saint is the title of my next novel. The hero is a kind of saint, himself, although his crimes convince him that he’s more likely heading for hell. My father would have loved the protagonist’s determination to do the impossible. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some of the old man in my hero.
Writing’s fun that way.
Okay, now—who are you?