David Palin ~ Author
David Palin ~ Author

 

David Palin

 

My first novel is a Faustian tale which finds six people, driven by curiosity and greed, dicing for the fortune of a rich neighbour for whom they have only contempt, and reaping what they sow. The second one examines the consequences as ancient, fading gods become powerful again through the global domination of an omnipresent IT company. I was lucky enough to be interviewed about these books on BBC Radio. There are other projects in the pipeline, including the possibility of pitching 'For Art's Sake' for a movie.  The threads that hold my writing together are as old as mankind - no coincidence there - amongst them the usual suspects; fear, sex, hate, hope, pride, envy, greed, religion, despair, death and love; all the things that drive our lives, controlling us, though we've tried before to corral them with labels and numbers: the Ten Commandments; the Seven Deadly Sins.

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A moment of great significance for my writing career was a car journey with a colleague in 2002. When she found out I had a novel mouldering in the loft - this is not a metaphor for my head - she gave me a week to rescue it and make something of it. Through that one moment of bossiness she helped me rediscover my love of writing.

So, I came back out of that mould-ridden loft fascinated by what hides, often in plain sight, in the shadows beyond the light of our everyday lives. In my work, hope can only truly be appreciated by those who have looked into the darkness, embraced it even, and seen that still the flame doesn't die unless we choose to extinguish it. If, as a result of reading my books, a movie plays in the reader's mind, it is probably a film noir - we're certainly living in times of tension, paranoia and greed similar to the ones that spawned that style - but I can't help adding a hint of optimistic white. Those movies were often unremitting in their blackness, but even the darkest of themes, as examined by Dennis Potter or Peter Greenaway for example, can allow for redemption. Why has mankind always wandered willingly into the labyrinth if not for the joy of walking out again?

I believe that we are not alone and by that I mean that the universe is built on attraction. We are always pulling something along in our slipstream, just as we, too, are riding on the coat-tails of a dream. These co-existing worlds are usually just beyond our vision - it's like trying to see yourself blink in a mirror - but never beyond our perception if we are open to them. I love the Philip Pullman trilogy His Dark Materials, firstly because it captures with magnificence and eloquence the concept of parallel universes, and secondly because it provoked such outrage from the narrow-minded.

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