Sometimes it's an editor’s job to enthuse the team and show them just why a book is so special, so intense, so wonderful. But often, the closer we are to a book, the more we love it, the more convinced we are by its genius, the harder that is to do. There must be some kind of Law to explain this – not quite Murphy’s, but in that ballpark.
Anyway, with this in mind, we present to you Five Wounds: A Dialogue
Rights: So, Five Wounds. It's very beautiful. What's it about?
Editor: Um. Well, funny you should ask.
Rights: That's what this meeting is about...
Editor: Oh, yes, that's right. Well, it's difficult to say exactly what it's about.
Rights: Haven't you read it?
Editor: Many times. There are so many different ways to read it, you see. And they're all incredible.
Editor: Oh, look over there! A squirrel!
Rights: We're in Australia. That's not an apt diversionary tactic. You were saying?
Editor: Yes. Um. Look, there's simply nothing like it. It's inspired by many sources, from Jeanette Winterson to the Uncanny X-Men, with a bit of Buffy thrown in. It possesses layers upon layers. Like an onion, as Donkey in Shrek would have it. Like an Onion.
Rights: Okaaay. But what's it about?
Editor: It's postmodern, biblical, dark and beautiful. It's an Illuminated Novel.
Rights: Yesss. So it is.
Editor: Are you into heraldry, by any chance?
Rights: No, I'm not.
Editor: Oh, well, never mind. Well, it's about these five characters. They're all orphans of one sort or another. And each has a metaphysical wound. Sort of.
Rights: A metaphysical wound.
Editor: Yes. So this one character, his face is so malleable that he can look like anyone he chooses. But who is he himself? Another character used to have wings, but her father had them hacked off. Another was raised by a sect of dogs. And the thing is, all these wounds have significance. It's all about signs. There are clues, and riddles.
Rights: Now we're getting somewhere. I think.
Editor [on a roll now]: ...and it's possibly set in Venice or somewhere similar in a non-specific time. Sort of then, sort of now, like a fabulous fable. Magical realism as an oblique means of tackling trauma. It even has two endings!
Editor [frothing slightly]: And the artwork's amaaazing. There's Goya in there. Blake. Playing with perspectives like Escher. References to GK Chesterton, Egyptian hieroglyphics and mediaeval palmistry treatises.
Rights: Why are your fingers glued together?
Editor: Oh. Look, here's a dummy I prepared earlier with lots of spray adhesive whichmakesmetalkreallyfast. Take this and show the world.
Rights: Right. Yes, I'll do that, shall I? [exit stage right en route to Frankfurt, staggering slightly under enormous and spectacular dummy]
Jonathan grew up in England and now lives in Sydney. He began writing Five Wounds way back in 1994, when he was living in an attic on Venice's Lido. His interests include:
and contemporary music.
And have a look at his gorgeous website.
Dan lives and works in Spain, and we're not sure what his interests are. [Mental note: schedule meeting in Spain to find out.]
So… Jonathan Walker and Dan Hallett – welcome to the House of Onion. We couldn’t be more pleased to be publishing this feast for the eyes, the mind and the soul.
*Confessions of the Cake-maker in Chief:
I confess it was all my fault that last week's steady serving of introductions was disrupted on Friday. But I managed to appease the blog goddesses with Torta alla Gianduia.
Tardy authors should note that with a little cake they can get away with anything short of murder around here. (It should also be noted that the weekend seemed to leave the blogesses in an unaccountably good mood.)