Recognitions is the first of a trilogy and also my first novel. I’ve had three books previously published, but they were non-fiction and short stories. Writing (and publishing!) a novel feels very different, in that it is something that’s created entirely from the author’s imagination and they have no idea how it will be accepted, which can be kind of nerve-wrecking at first.
It has been said before that writers are often people without much self-confidence and this doesn’t surprise me. After all, we spend a lot of time in the company of fictional characters that we create ourselves – and life in the real world can often be confusing.
However, something that I’ve discovered while writing Recognitions over the past two years is that fictional characters can often be just as strange and as surprising as real people, and if you’re not careful they can take over your life!
For example: Amelia, the modern-day protagonist in my novel Recognitions. She is a foreign-rights editor in New York City, a single mom struggling with a divorce and two teenage kids. Her husband dumped her for a younger woman, skinny Claudette who wears halter-tops even on cold days.
Amelia goes to a hypnotherapist in hope she can get help dealing with insomnia and anxieties, and ends up experiencing something that resembles a past life. Now, Amelia is a down-to-earth woman. She does not believe in past lives.
But as she walks out of the hypnotherapist’s practice, someone almost runs her over. The guy drives off, but this is just the beginning of the story. Who would have thought that this grounded woman, Amelia, who has so much going on in her life, will end up in France in search of signs of a possibly different existence, two centuries back?
I, the author, certainly did not see that coming.
Now, without going into further spoilers, I’d just like to end by saying that even I don’t know where Amelia is going with this, but I do know one thing: she will grow on this journey – as a person, as a mother, as a woman.
On her journey she meets a girl living in 18th-century France, in the times of Voltaire and the French Revolution, and also an African shaman, a medicine man, who tries to protect his people in the era of the slave-trade.
I hope you can join her, and me, on this adventure, as I am now working on the sequel to Recognitions, titled Premonitions. And, as usual, the characters are taking over the story, so it ain’t my fault if things don’t turn out to be as I, or you, have expected.
Daniela I. Norris is a former diplomat, turned political writer, and with age and wisdom – inspirational author and speaker. Her award-winning stories, articles and essays have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.
Published books include –
– Crossing Qalandiya – Exchanges Across the Israeli Palestinian Divide (Reprtage Press, 2010)
– On Dragonfly Wings – a skeptic’s journey to mediumship (Axis Mundi Books, 2014)
– Collecting Feathers: tales from The Other Side (Soul Rocks Books, 2014)
Recognitions, part of a trilogy, is her first novel.
Daniela lives with her family near Geneva, Switzerland, and is co-director of the Geneva Writers’ Conference and part of the International Grief Council panel (www.internationalgriefcouncil.org).
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