The fool (um, me) on the hill
So, my little book, Thyla, comes out in two days. April Fools’ Day, no less. When I first figured out that Thyla was going to be released on April the first, I had a momentary pang of worry: Was its publication actually one big April Fools’ Day prank, at my expense? After all, the fact that it is getting published is without a doubt one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened to me in my life. And, since my life is usually a perfect confirmation of the suggestion that Murphy might be an optimist, it seemed entirely possible.
Once it was confirmed that Thyla‘s birth was actually going ahead, I decided to do some research into April Fools’ Day to see if there was any positive connection between this day and my new novel.
SO! It turns out that April Fools’ Day was mentioned in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. In The Nun’s Priest’s Tale, the rooster, Chauntecleer is tricked by a crafty fox! So, what does this have to do with Thyla, I hear you ask? WELL, the second book in the Thyla series is called Vulpi, and one of the main characters is a fox and he tricks some Diemens who … well, they aren’t roosters but they are vain and snooty like Chauntecleer!
Okay, I know I’m clutching at straws here. There is probably no real connection between Thyla and April Fool’s Day.
One of my favourite Beatles songs has always been The Fool on the Hill. I always felt a little bit like that fool, sitting on the hill, watching the world going around while all the other people raced and rushed around and never really noticed him or listened to what he had to say. But the fool was the one who saw what was really going on. I’ve always been a bit shy and, at times, have felt kind of invisible. That’s why I wrote books. That was my way of “talking”.
As writers, maybe we are all a bit like the fool. We watch the world. We’re observers. Many of us are shy, but the books we write give us a voice. Sometimes, people might not understand what we’re trying to say. They might say our books are silly or unrealistic. But hey, what do they know? I’d much prefer a world where Thylas and Sarcos live in forests on mountains than ones where getting the latest iPhone or worrying about how much money we’re earning or whether our bum is small enough is the be all and end all.
I’m happy that Thyla is being published on April Fools’ Day now. It’s a celebration of what it means to be a writer and what it means to celebrate imagination. Well, at least that’s what I’m telling myself. It could just have something to do with chickens. Whatever the case, I hope you like my little book. It’s looking forward to being born.