Anugyan speaks of the creation of his latest book, which has just recently been published in the UK.
Wrecking Ball is my fourth novel to be self-published, a system that has been very creatively fulfilling. The previous novel, Secrets: An Oxford Tale, caught the interest of mainstream publishers but eventually the feedback always came that they “couldn’t handle it.” Then when reading some random books, I realised they were in fact self-published despite their immense importance in their particular fields. This was an indication to me that I had to return to that way of getting my work out there into the world, and the journey that was the publication of Secrets was to prove very satisfying, especially because I could do exactly what I wanted without compromise. It is because of this I have chosen to focus exclusively now on self-publishing.
After publication, publicity and distribution are invariably challenging and something a mainstream publisher will take care of automatically. Knowing I couldn’t afford expensive book launches for Secrets, as well as using social media, I did a couple of launches in areas of England where I knew I had plenty of contacts. The first in Cornwall was at a hotel bar where people could buy their own drinks and food, and there was plenty of space for children to play, so families could attend in their entirety. There were book signings, limitless alcohol bought for the lucky author, and a party atmosphere prevailed. Interestingly, one of those present was a successful children’s writer, and she said the way in which I’d set up the launch was actually becoming the prevailing approach even in mainstream publishing.
Wrecking Ball is categorised as Visionary and Metaphysical Fiction, which is a new official label that seems to apply well to most of my books. As my first two novels were in the guise of thrillers, and Secrets was heavily influenced by Gurdjieff and had a didactic element, this new book is the first of mine published with a purely literary focus. That is, everything is about the story, which I hope people will enjoy reading as much as I did writing. It’s mostly a very sunny tale, despite being set in the context of war. The extract included here is from the contemporary, more comedic part of the novel.
The book is set in three time periods which are intertwined, often subtly, and each explore war, love and time in their different ways.
The main core of the action is in 1943 on a remote airfield in Devon. An American pilot arrives in mist and fog, to find that the commanding officer has no orders what to do with him. It is by no means clear why he is there. In the interim he hangs out with others, including a WAAF (from the women’s branch of the Air Force) who has been sent to Devon for behaving badly in London. He doesn’t understand his relationship with her, whether they are friends or in love. If the latter, he could be in trouble as he is engaged to a model in California. At the same time, another WAAF arrives, an elegant, aristocratic sergeant, who seems to be on a mission of her own. Betrayal and danger of all kinds are revealed as the intrigue develops.
In 2012 another group of colourful misfits gather in the same area, including a young German couple, and a disgraced, comical historian after a mysterious visit to the Bahamas. The airfield is in ruins and is now a meadow where people and wild horses roam. As the historian stumbles amongst the artefacts, he attempts to make sense of his own life, of the past that seems right before him and beyond, and of the true nature of time and history. All this whilst creating a merry chaos around him wherever he goes.
In 1255 a group of the mystical order of Templar knights gather in the main port of West Penwith in Cornwall, to embark on a perilous mission across the ocean. The story of that mission is at the heart of the novel, their adventure having unforeseen repercussions on people who will come centuries after them.
Updated on 4th October 2016: deleted links to crowdfunding and added links to amazon.
Read an excerpt on Osho News
Another Series of Dilemmas
Dharma Anugyan was born in North Scotland, and spent some of his formative years with the Findhorn Community. He took sannyas in 1983, lived all over the world and is currently near Land’s End in Cornwall, England. His eclectic career includes microbiology technician, archivist, vegetarian chef, construction worker, science and English teacher, and Feng Shui consultant. He has a Masters in Environmental Science, specialises in sustainable community development, and looks after horses whilst learning natural horsemanship. He has always retained a passion for literature, science and meditation. He has written and directed two plays, written and co-written screenplays; and written six books. www.sdanugyan.com