Author Guest Post
Out of the Ether
By: Susan Sloate
There’s a phenomenon a lot of writers don’t talk about, because none of us can explain it, and it’s not something we can make happen at will: it just does. But I’ve taken a poll among my writer friends, and they say it’s happened to them too, and to other writers they know. It’s happened in one very famous example to a nineteenth-century writer. So I’m not alone here.
So I’m going to take the bull by the horns and reveal it here. Readers deserve to know it. But don’t tell anyone, okay? William Goldman famously said, “All writers are crazy. Even the normal ones are weird.” Well, this isn’t something I’d consider normal.
We all know that it’s hard to explain creativity. We don’t know where it comes from, we don’t know how it works, and except for sitting down and inviting the muse in, we don’t know how to make it happen. But sometimes we’re creative in a way that defies any kind of sense. Because once in awhile…and it doesn’t happen often… a writer can find himself writing something that will then actually happen. And what happens is far beyond our control.
In 1898 a novelist named Morgan Robertson wrote a novella called FUTILITY, about the world’s greatest luxury ocean liner called the Titan setting off on a voyage in the North Atlantic in the month of April. The Titan is supposed to be unsinkable, so it carries an insufficient number of lifeboats. The ship hits an iceberg and sinks, and many of its passengers die.
Sound familiar? Of course. It’s the story of the Titanic, right?
Yes—except the novella was published in 1898. And the Titanic didn’t set off on its maiden voyage until April 1912. It wasn’t even built till the year before. And Robertson had nothing to do with the White Star Line, the company that commissioned it. It’s one of the strangest parts of Titanic folklore.
Even more strangely, Robertson also wrote a short story in 1914 called “Beyond the Spectrum”, which described a future war between Japan and the US in which the Japanese did not declare war but started by launching sneak attacks in the area of the Philippines and Hawaii in the month of December (the site—and month—of the infamous sneak attack on Pearl Harbor). They then used a weapon invented by the Americans which caused a brilliant light and flash and terrible burns, which some have compared to the atomic bomb.
Robertson died in 1915, long before World War II.
How could he know?
The same thing happened to me. As a teenager, my first long finished project was a three-act play whose main characters were based on Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. The play begins with their last appearance together, onstage at a famous New York nightclub, and ends years later with their eventual reunion onstage live at one character’s long-running telethon.
I finished the play in July 1976. Six weeks later, on the Labor Day Telethon, Dean Martin made a surprise appearance (it’s famous; look it up on YouTube) and was reunited with Jerry Lewis.
I had no way of knowing. I also had no way of knowing at the time that their last appearance together actually was at a famous New York nightclub (the Copacabana). I just picked the idea out of the ether; it seemed to work dramatically, so I used it.
That’s where, I think, you’ll find a lot of our inspiration as writers. It’s out there in the ether, and we can’t explain it. A thought here, a second thought there, and something connects them; and there’s the beginning of a story. What seems logical, or is some kind of wish fulfillment, is what we follow. And it ends up turning out that way in real life.
I have never claimed any kind of psychic powers, but the act of writing is mystical and filled with marvelous and unexplained things. Maybe being a writer just means picking the right combination, out there in the ether, and putting them together. I’ve written other work that seems to have come true as well. I don’t talk about it much.
But when you’re reading a writer’s work, some of those magical connections may just be there. You never know.
So keep reading. What you find may be something marvelous and unexplainable.
About The Author
Stealing Fire by Susan Sloate ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Goddess Fish Promotions
Stealing Fire by Susan Sloate
Publisher: Drake Valley Press
Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Format: Paperback - 320 pages / Kindle - 653 KB / Nook - 372 KB
Genre: Contemporary Romance
BUY THE BOOK: Stealing Fire
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.
In glittery 1980’s Los Angeles, Beau Kellogg is a brilliant Broadway lyricist now writing advertising jingles and yearning for one more hit to compensate for his miserable marriage and disappointing life.
Amanda Harary, a young singer out of synch with her contemporaries, works at a small New York hotel, while she dreams of singing on Broadway.
When they meet late at night over the hotel switchboard, what begins will bring them each unexpected success, untold joy, and piercing heartache ... until they learn that some connections, however improbable, are meant to last forever.
STEALING FIRE is, at its heart, a story for romantics everywhere, who believe in the transformative power of love.”
STEALING FIRE was a Quarter-Finalist (Top 5%) in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.
My Book Review:
Stealing Fire by author Susan Sloate is a poignant May-December love story of soul mates meeting that transcends time. This emotional tale follows the journey of Amanda Harary, a young actress/singer who works in a NY hotel and dreams of starring on Broadway, whose path crosses with sixty year old Beau Kellogg, a former Broadway composer/lyricist turned writer of advertising jingles. A late-night phone conversation between them over the hotel's switchboard leads to the beginning of an unlikely love affair that will leave the reader believing in soul mates, magic, and love at first sight.
Set in the 1980s with a broadway theme that transports the reader between NY and LA, author Susan Sloate captivates the reader's attention with this beautiful love story that tugs at the heartstrings. This is a bittersweet tale of a young woman who aspires to star on Broadway, and an aging former Broadway composer who yearns for one more Broadway hit to rejuvenate his disappointing life. Their journey brings a mixture of joy, love, success, and heartbreak ... but their connection lasts a lifetime. Stealing Fire is reminiscent of Somewhere In Time and Autumn In New York, both which I loved, so it was not surprising that this story would capture my heart and keep me eagerly turning the pages as Amanda and Beau's love story unfolds.
Stealing Fire is a love story that will appeal to all romantics at heart. It takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride as these two unlikely lovers deal with life's trials and tribulations. You can't help but feel for both Amanda and Beau, the emotional pull between them is breathtaking, while the agony of their life choices is haunting. Author Susan Sloate weaves a wonderful tale of true love that will have you feeling the full gamut of emotions, it will make your pulse race, and leave a lump in your throat with its bittersweet yet satisfying conclusion.
RATING: 5 STARS *****
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