Déjà Vu

As promised, here is the guest blog from writer Anthony Peake. Thanks Tony!

The itch had been building up for a few months. Now I was in the position to respond with a damn good scratching. I was going to write a book!

I was in the fortunate position of being able to take a twelve month sabbatical from my “normal” job as a management consultant. My contract was due to come to an end in a week’s time and I was free to follow my muse. It was very exciting.

One problem though. My muse had suggested a book but that was it. No subject, structure plot or even genre was in my mind as, on that fateful first morning when I sat myself down in front of a blank computer screen. I fired up my word processor software. A vast expanse of virgin white pixels presented themselves. My fingers poised themselves over the keyboard lying below them in expectation.

Nothing. Well not quite, simply a realisation that this writing lark was not as easy as I had thought.

Then it started. I felt a tingling sensation in my lips and I noticed that a small part of the screen had started to break up into a tell-tail pattern of jagged lines vibrating and swirling. I was starting a migraine attack. What I was experiencing was not the attack itself but the tell-tail precursors; a series of visual and sensory disturbances known as the “aura”.

What happened next was extremely strange. I looked through the jagged lines at the screen and I had the overpowering sensation that I had done this before. I had sat in that very position looking at a computer screen. At some indeterminate time in my past I had looked out of the windows behind the computer and looked at that North Horsham street with the early spring blooms appearing on the tree opposite.

 The sensation of familiarity was overwhelming, both in relation to the scene and also to the nature of the sensation itself. It was a déjà vu – that odd feeling that you are living a moment that you have lived before. It was a sensation I had long lived with but it was only at that moment in March 2000 that I realised that this curious sensation was linked to my migraine aura.

As the sensation faded so did the aura and as its echoes reverberated around my head a new feeling arose – I had the subject for my book. I would write a book about déjà vu!

Exactly one year later the first draft of my first book was completed. My déjà vu sensation had not only acted as my “muse” but it had also set in motion a book that may explain what this curious memory anomaly really signifies.

Is There Life After Death? – The Extraordinary Science of What Happens When You Die

Comments

  1. Tony, having met you I can see you’re the kind of person who’d have the cojones to take a break to write a book without an idea. But do you recommend it to other writers?
    A further question: had you had anything published before? Was there a reason why you thought you would be able to write a book? Or are you just a very confident person with a “sure, I can do this” attitude?

  2. Hi Jane,
    Great to see you on here.
    In answer to your first question my answer will simply be that it depends upon the person. I am now in touch with many writers across the world and some clearly do not know where they will go with their plot whereas others plan things to the nth degree. In my second book I discuss the creative process in some detail and it does seem that sometimes stories create themselves and in others the characters seem to go off with their own motivations that do not come from the author.
    In answer to your second question, no. I had no idea how to go about getting a book published, or even how to approach a publisher. In some weird way I just knew that the book would be picked up by a publisher sooner or later. Probably very foolhardy on my part.
    Give my regards to Bob and the girls.
    Cheers
    Tony

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