Tournament of Books 2015
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

PowellsBooks.Blog

Authors, readers, critics, media — and booksellers.

 

The Hypnotist

It's an honor to be back at the Powell's blog and share something about my newest suspense novel, The Hypnotist.

All writers have rites and rituals that we've developed over the years.All writers have rites and rituals that we've developed over the years. I always wonder about these habits and idiosyncrasies. But I never have the nerve to ask the venerable pros I meet.

Here are mine.

Before I start any book I need three things. The first is a question I don't know the answer to but find interesting enough to spend at least a year finding out.

The second is a quote that captures the spirit of the theme I want to write about — what I think powers the novel.

And the third is an object that belongs to my main character — that has some meaning to him or her — even if I don't always know quite what that meaning is when I begin.

The question that inspired this book was: Who owns art?The question that inspired this book was: Who owns art? Should the cultural heritage of a piece of artwork determine what museum it finally winds up in? Is restitution always in the best interest of the pubic?

For years I've been reading about Greece's efforts to get the Elgin Marbles back to their homeland. I can see both sides of the arguments. I have sympathy for countries whose riches have been taken from them. But at the same time I've spent a lot of my life visiting museums. I've been moved and inspired by work gathered from around the world and can't imagine what these amazing institutions would be like if they were stripped of their treasures.

The quote that mesmerized me and epitomized what I wanted this book to be about was:

Often, in the cosseted quarters of a museum, we forget that every work of ancient art is a survivor, a representative of untold numbers of similar artworks that perished. This triumphant exhibition makes us remember, while demonstrating that every survivor saves much more than just itself: long strands of culture, identity and history waiting to be woven back together.
—Roberta Smith writing in the New York Times about the exhibit Silent Survivors of Afghanistan's 4,000 Tumultuous Years

And the magical object, the talisman that belongs to my main character, is a broken pencil. It was in Lucian Glass's pocket the day he was brutally attacked and killed. He was only 20 at the time, a student at college. Glass has kept the pencil in a drawer that he opens all the time... he's seen it so often that he no longer notices it. Until the day my novel starts... and he's forced into remembering something he never really could forget.

÷ ÷ ÷

Visit M. J. Rose at her website (www.mjrose.com) or read her daily blog (www.reincarnationist.org) on reincarnation facts, philosophy, and curiosities. Her most recent novel, The Memorist, is an Indie Next pick.


Books mentioned in this post

  1. The Memorist
    Used Hardcover $2.75


M. J. Rose is the author of The Memorist

Post a comment:

 
Get Your Gravatar

  1. Please note:
  2. All comments require moderation by Powells.com staff.
  3. Comments submitted on weekends might take until Monday to appear.
PowellsBooks.Blog uses Gravatar to allow you to personalize the icon that appears beside your name when you post. If you don't have one already, get your Gravatar today!
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.