Turning Stones – Released April 2015
Available at: Amazon
and The Book Loft in Fernandina Beach, Fl
Short Summary of the novel:
High school teacher Jason Colby found refuge from a turbulent childhood in the structured predictability of math and science. But that same approach erodes his relationship with Kate, and she decides to leave. But when Kate needs assistance investigating an ancient manuscript found in her grandfather’s desk, Jason reluctantly agrees help in hopes of rekindling their marriage. While he dismisses these supposed words of a Druid priest as a hoax he finds himself engrossed in the research and ends up being convinced to test one of the strange rituals in the manuscript.
Jason’s incredible experience among the cold stones of Stonehenge forces him to confront his most deeply held beliefs. Can he reconcile his haunting memories and save his sanity or will he lose his bearing and Kate forever?
Some thoughts about writing this novel:
People often ask what draws a writer to a particular story. So I thought I would share some of the threads that made this story compelling to me.
I have always been fascinated with myth, stories from our distant ancestors as they struggled to make sense of the mysterious and chaotic world around them. While these incredible stores seem like fantasy, I believe many contain a kernel of truth. And it made me wonder what knowledge and wisdom our ancestors had that has been lost in the ashes of history.
There is a long trail of knowledge being destroyed or ignored as the west conquered the world. From the destruction of the Mayan civilization, to the burning of over 200,000 scrolls at the library at Alexandria, to the purging of the Druid tradition from northern Europe. So much was lost due the misguided certainty of religion.
Of particular interest to me for this story were the Druids. During their time they were an important part of society. They were the doctors, teachers and scientists of their day. They were considered the truth-tellers. And due to their special insights, the Druids were often advisors to the kings. Part of this power came from their ability to predict celestial events.
So I used Stonehenge as the backdrop for this story, partly because I enjoy the mystery and lore that surround these stones. But also because there is credible science that suggests these ancient rocks were used to predict celestial events. And the mystique of Stonehenge provided a wonderful counterpoint to Jason’s almost religious devotion to modern science.
Another thread stems from an insight I heard several years ago from a relationship councilor. He suggested that when a person falls in love, it’s often not with the person of their affection, but rather with an idea of that person. Sort of an idealized version. And as the relationship unfolds, the person tries to “help” their loved one reach that potential. This can lead to frustration on the part of the loved one as they try to live up to these expectations. And then to hurt and then to anger.
And finally, a thread that stems from our sense of reality. Over time the line between what is real and what is fantasy shifts. As young children we welcome our imaginary friends, have tea with fairy good-mothers and eagerly await the arrival of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. But over time a more concrete reality settles in as teachers, textbooks and even our peer groups recreate our world for us, pushing anything deemed imaginary away.
So the line between what is possible and what is not real deepens. And so when something occurs which is beyond our boundary of what is possible, we are lost in its wake like a dingy bobbing in choppy waters.
All of these threads went into the pool from which the characters and plot of this story emerged. And we witness them played out in the lives of our main characters Jason and Kate Colby. Enjoy!