I’ve not been blogging for the past few months because I’ve been working on the second and third books in the Tilly Greenway series. The second book, called The Hidden Hand, was due to be released this spring. That’s all changed. My publishers have decided that some of it is simply too contentious, given what is happening in the world right now!
Readers of Watchers, the first book in the series, will know that the story blends old-style myth with a modern-day conspiracy tale in which the plot revolves around a shadow-government that rules the world from behind the scenes. I’d always wanted to mix these two elements because I like both and although they don’t seem to match, I wanted to do something that no one else was doing – to break new ground.
I’m really glad I did. With letters and emails flooding in from readers of all ages who love Watchers, I’ve felt that I have a mandate to continue on with a story truly unlike any other.
For the conspiracy element, I researched a lot of articles on current events and studied a lot of history. I also read many old prophecies that predict either the end of the world or specific major events. I then wove a plot in which a modern day shadow-government (like the Illuminati of The Da Vinci Code) not only follow these ancient prophecies – they do all they can to make them happen. For instance, the first book, Watchers, begins on June 5th, which is indeed referred to in a number of almanacs as “The Night of the Watchers.”
Little did I know, however, that so much of my fictional plot would turn out to be virtually identical to what is going on in the real world!
I’m fascinated by dreams and visions and how they have shaped our history. It seems prophecies have flourished all over the world, from the earliest Sumerian writings, through the religious texts of almost every culture, including the bible, the Oracles of Ancient Greece and the Sybils of Rome, through Nostradamus, right up to today.
My particular writing method is unusual. I use a technique I have developed called the Alpha State Meditation. All dreams happen when our brains dip down into the alpha-wave pattern, rather than the beta-wave of waking life. So, if you like, I dream the stories – neither fully conscious nor unconscious – which is perhaps why so many people have written to me saying that the style is very visual.
It’s an interesting way to write; like watching a movie where I can become any one of the protagonists, experiencing a scene from their point of view (I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to do this in cinemas soon). So, whilst I may have the overall plot worked out in advance, I am often surprised by what unfolds. I’ve even had new characters arrive “out of nowhere.” I’ll write more about this technique another time. For now, let’s return to the reasons The Hidden Hand has been held back.
Most conspiracy theories are just that: theories. The Illuminati, however, are real. Formed in the late eighteenth century by a German called Thomas Weishaupt, documents intercepted in Bavaria twenty years later revealed that Weishaupt and his co-conspirators had the specific aim of infiltrating the highest echelons of government, the church, the media and businesses worldwide in order to gain control over the world’s population. They began in France, where their success can be measured in the number of heads severed by the guillotine. Every high-ranking member of Robespierre’s “Reign of Terror” was a member of the Illuminati.
This seemed a perfect place to begin a tale of mystery and intrigue that stretches right back to the dawn of time.
As you will find out when Book 2 is finally released, the fictional shadow-government of my story forms an “Axis of Power” that involves London, Washington DC and Rome. Intent on reducing the world’s population, this Axis of Power begins with a programme of micro-chipping Londoners with mu-brains, tiny microchips that control human thought.
The twist in the tale is that these people are working with a host of invisible entities who live in another dimension and who feed off human fear. This idea itself is not new. Many of our oldest stories are filled with warning of demons and devils who visit us in our sleep, like the Night-Mare, the Succubus or the Incubus. In the Tilly Greenway series, the shadow-government does a deal with these demons, spreading fear through the media so that people are unwittingly turned into a source of food or made easier to manipulate.
I had originally foreseen the use of the Olympic Ceremonies, the Music Industry and war in the Middle East as the main events/stages for this shadow-government to drive through its plans during Book 2 and 3.
Having seen the Olympic ceremonies last summer, having looked at the images and words being pumped out in many music videos and having followed the wars that have rocked Iraq, Egypt and Libya – with the very real danger of war in Syria and perhaps Iran to come – it has become plainer and plainer that the fictional plot of my books has to a large extent foreshadowed real life events.
To give you an example:
Centuries ago, an Irish seer called St Malachy foresaw a line of 112 Popes, the last of whom he calls Petrus Romanus, or “Peter the Roman.” Petrus Romanus, says Malachy, will “pasture his sheep in many tribulations: and when these things are finished….the terrible judge will judge his people.”
The original draft of The Hidden Hand begins with a quote from Malachy’s prophecy and continues with a Papal Conclave during which Petrus Romanus is elected.
Back in the real world: Benedict XVI was the 111th pope on St Malachy’s list. Benedict surprised the world by resigning on February 28th, but what no one has mentioned is that February 28th is the Feast Day of a certain St Romanus!
As I write this post, the 115 Cardinals who will decide who will become the 112th Bishop of Rome are entering the Sistine Chapel. The Conclave has begun. Obviously, when I was drawing up the plot of the Tilly Greenway series, I had no idea this was going to happen just a few weeks before the second book was due to be released.
Given all this, my publishers have asked me to re-write some sections of the next two books. Without spoiling the plot for you, that’s about as much as I can say right now!
Full info and reviews of Watchers here: