A melancholy memory turns out to be the catalyst for an almost forgotten yet brilliant Xlibris novel. Author Ian Prattis stumbles upon this overlooked treasure – a story nearly four decades in hiding but remains as relevant as it was first conceived.
He recounts here on the Xlibris Blog the bittersweet recollection so surreal he still couldn’t believe his good fortune.
About the Xlibris book
My book “Redemption” – was a “lost” manuscript. A novel I first wrote in 1975 – some forty years ago. It was the first book I ever wrote. But it was soon forgotten, as back then I did not know how to get published. The manuscript was rediscovered by accident just a few years ago. I found it in an old filing cabinet where it was gathering dust. I sat down on the floor and went through it. I could scarcely believe it was such a good read and actually wondered for a moment “who wrote it?” I requested my wife and a couple of friends with critical eyes to read it just in case I was dreaming. One friend cried all the way through, the other mused about the film to be made.
In fact – a screenplay has been written recently – so if there are any movie moguls out there – I would like to talk to you!
Waking up from a long dream
My friends convinced me that I was not dreaming – this story had to come to life. Modern technology enabled the yellowing typed manuscript to be transformed into a computer-ready document. It required attention to spelling, typos and small additions from my writer’s eye some forty years later, yet still stands pristine as when first written. The story is an allegory for the life difficulties I experienced at that time. The surprise for me was how could I have written such a book while in a desperate state of mind? I was a total mess in 1975 – with a failing marriage in the Hebrides, Scotland, and trying to keep my career intact as a young professor at Carleton University in Canada. I was not doing a good job with either.
A startling awakening
This brings me to a bigger reality. 15 million adults in North America suffer from some form of depression, enhanced through alcoholism and other mental afflictions. I believe that the power of inner strength can help such wounded individuals overcome their worldly crutches. It took me a while to come to these realizations and the avenue was through this book. This novel – Redemption – is in fact an allegory for the depression and life difficulties that I once experienced, though I did not realize it at the time. The themes of mental illness and alcoholism are writ large in this deep and turbulent Hero’s Journey to emancipation.
This novel is set in The Hebrides, islands off the northwest coast of Scotland, with startling cycles of maturing and downfall of the main character – Callum Mor – a gifted child, master mariner, derelict drunk, who eventually gains wisdom from a hard life’s journey. He enters the dark zone of alcoholism and withdraws from society with only his animals keeping him this side of sanity. Laced with grim humour, the novel has nature’s harsh rhapsody as the background for tragic human failings: violence, power, murder, rape and madness. The failings are ultimately topped by the triumph of the human spirit.
The Xlibris Blog will reveal more of Ian’s literary journey and discovery on the second part of his blog.
Discover a treasure of self-published talents on the Xlibris Blog and the Xlibris Indie Authors Roundup. And get a treasure trove of free writing, editing, and book marketing tips from the Xlibris Writer’s Workshop.