A dream of a novel
A number of people have asked where I got the idea for The Mona Lisa Sacrifice. It’s a bit, um, out there, after all.
It has its origins in a poem I read in my university days: “The Dream of the Rood.” I studied it in an Old English and medieval literature class taught by Nicholas Watson when he was still at the University of Western Ontario, where I earned my BA and Master’s degrees. I started a PhD at another university but never finished it. That’s another story….
Part of the poem tells the story of Christ’s crucifixion as seen by the cross itself. It was an interesting POV, and the poem stuck with me, in the way that random bits of culture and history can. Years later, I started thinking about the poem again and the idea of the cross as the body of Christ itself suddenly came to me. And that’s where the book began.
Another shred of cultural shrapnel, Keats’s “This Living Hand,” also made its way into The Mona Lisa Sacrifice. As did the Gaudi church that figures prominently in the book’s opening scenes — and which inspired my own pilgrimage to Barcelona. (Thanks, Robert Barsky!) There are no doubt others, of course, but these are big ones for me.
So if you want to get ideas for a book, get out there and live life. And, of course, read read read and read some more.
Here’s a link to the full text of Dream of the Rood, if you’re interested.