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The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, a.k.a. Oh My God An Update!


Crap! I mean, yeah! I’ve been tagged! My good friend, Shanah, all around awesome individual and writer, tagged me into The Next Best Thing Blog Hop.

My next bit thing may be a bit different, as I am currently writing non-fiction rather than my usual contemporary fantasy.

1. What is the working title of your next book?
When I write fiction, this is usually the first thing I try to come up with, as it sets a mood for the book. Then I end up changing it at the end to something that doesn’t suck. For the current WIP the title came by way of a book by Msgr. Jordan Stratford and his Living Gnosticism. Thus far, my book is title Living Theurgy: A Course in Iamblichus’ Philosophy, Theology, and Theurgy. The subtitle is subject to change at my whim. As is the main title, for that matter.

2. Where did the idea for your book come from?
I’m not certain there is a simple answer to this. I became interested in Neoplatonism some four or five years ago, focusing largely on the founder of “later” Neoplatonism, Iamblichus of Chalcis. What remains of which writings, which were copious, is largely fragmentary. Because of this it seems that no one has tried to systematize his teachings. There is a large gap here, and I’m trying to fill it as suitably as possible.

3. What genre does your book fall under?
Beyond a generic “non-fiction,” several. Philosophy, esotericism, theurgy, religion, theology. Any and all of those are appropriate. If there was a “thinks too much” genre, I’d put it there.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
This would either make for the most boring movie ever, or the most awesome. I have no idea who I’d cast as Iamblichus. Probably someone Syrian and in his mid-to-late-thirties.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Again, a tough one, as there isn’t a plot, being non-narrative fiction and all that. Something like The current subtitle probably works well, though.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Probably neither. While I am not planning to self-publish Living Theurgy there is also typically not a lot of call for an agent in esoteric publishing.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About two and a half years. Mind you, about six months in we had our second child, as I’m the stay-at-home-while-also-working-out-of-the-house dad, that meant a lot less time writing and a lot more time changing diapers. As the book is both non-fiction and scholarly, there was a great deal of research through primary and secondary texts, too.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
There is really nothing quite like this, specifically looking at Iamblichus. Probably the closest in the genre is Brian Hines’ Return to the One: Plotinus’ Guide to God-Realization, A Modern Exposition on an Ancient Classic, the Enneads. On re-reading that title, I’m pretty sure I need to make mine longer. Now, as a book not only on later Neoplatonism, but of Neoplatonism, I might optimistically compare it to Iamblichus’ De Mysteriis or Proclus’ Platonic Theology, but I would also likely be overly generous to myself in doing so.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Mostly it was the lack of such a book. These were things I wanted to know, and, frankly, its easier for me to keep it all sorted by writing it down, with several hundred citations and a eight page bibliography. If anyone else finds it useful, so much the better.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Well, in theory, this is the first of three books on the subject I plan to write. The second is a Neoplatonic Book of Hours, based loosely on the 15th century neo-pagan liturgical calendar reform of Gemistus Plethon but ranging beyond pagan Neoplatonism, much as does Living Theurgy. The third book is somewhat more theoretical. Living Theurgy is cap-stoned with a rite to invoke the personal daimon, sort of a guardian angel. This is one of the most important rites a theurgist undertakes. Beyond, this, however, is a ritual of assimilation to the Demiurge, variously Helios, Zeus, Christ, or a slew of other gods depending on the religious background of the practitioner. I am considering writing something on this to finish off the series, as it were.

Alright, now for my vict . . . nominee: Eric Satchwill. To simply plagiarize his web site:

Eric Andrew Satchwill is a writer living in his home town of Calgary, Alberta. Trans and unabashedly queer, he loves nothing more than to share his experiences, and learn about the experiences of others. He works predominantly in the realm of fantasy, but isn’t too choosy when a good story strikes. Eric took three years at the Alberta College of Art and Design and the visual arts will always have some place in his practice.

He has performed in the Miscellaneous Youth Network’s Fake Mustache drag king troupe for a number of years, as well as Demonika’s Metal A-Gore-Gore and Demonika’s Symphony Of Horrors 3. Exhibitions that he has shown in include The Artist Collective Event #2 at The Artlife Gallery,The Crysalis Project hosted by the Miscellaneous Youth Network at Art Central, and History of Wearable Art exhibition in Gallery 371 at the Alberta College of Art and Design.

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