Years ago, at university, a fellow student had a breakdown and was admitted to the local psychiatric hospital. A few, who knew him well, went to visit and reported that he’d subsequently lost the plot and was now gabbling incomprehensibly of having found the answer to life, the universe and everything. Apparently it was all to do with concentric circles, which he proceeded to draw on every available surface including himself.
While most people seemed consumed with sadness and pity at this, my first thought was, “What if he really had discovered some universal truth?” Although I never seriously believed that he had, it was on that day that the seed of an idea lodged in my young brain – a seed that in the summer of 2002 would germinate into the drafting of the first three chapters of CONNECTED from a cabin in the French Alps.
I then returned to the reality of a career in IT marketing and the novel was relegated to the back-burner, where it sat simmering for another seven years. Finally, in the late summer of 2009, finding myself with an opportunity to take some time out, I picked up where I’d left off and in the following year, added those two long awaited words: THE END.
Over the next two years during weekends and holidays (for I’d since returned to gainful employment), I tweaked, cut, modified and generally tried to polish the above work into a novel worthy of publication. The result is CONNECTED.
I still sometimes wonder what became of that chap with his concentric circular obsession. With luck, and perhaps medication, he will have returned to life none the worse for his temporary descent into insanity. Maybe he went on to finish his studies and go on to great things. Or perhaps, tragically, he was never able to shake the euphoric delusion of finally understanding the true nature of reality. And maybe, just maybe, it was not a delusion at all.