Psychonaut is a story of redemption. In it the main characters learn their flaws and find ways to rise above them. Star, Satori, Lilith and Donna are all changed in profound and positive ways during the narrative. In this way Psychonaut is an uplifting book, especially after the desperate pain and suffering of Starblood.
Starblood was written during a difficult period of my life. I had given birth to my second daughter and was struggling to bond with her while keeping some sense of my own identity at the same time. In addition the business I had been running (with my then husband) for over a decade was failing, and my marriage was on the rocks.
Star’s struggle to discover who she is, when all the layers of what others want her to be are stripped away, was very much my struggle. I was in a state of depression and suicidal. I honestly believe that writing the Starblood Trilogy helped me answer the questions that haunted me at the time and saved my life (although not my marriage).
I was shocked and surprised by the overwhelming positive reception the first three Starblood books received. It is a frequently painful read and more than a little “out there”, that it resonated with others amazes me. What I have realised over the years is that my story is far more common than people would like to admit.
Since writing Starblood I have read work by people like Thomas Ligotti, which has taught me that part of the appeal of Starblood is that many of us never feel as though we fit comfortably in this world. We all flounder about at times trying to find a way to fit in without compromising what makes us who we are. I realise that my instinctive feeling that the world is both cruel and insane is far from uniquely mine.
On the flip side the message, I hope, that people get from the stories is one of self acceptance. So what if we don’t fit in? We are still important. We have value. Our dreams mean something, and as Lilith says in the first book, “There is no shame in love, only completion.” I hope people can see that Lilith is not only talking about romantic love at this point, but also love and acceptance of self and the multi-faceted, unique and marvellous people we have in our lives.
The Starblood Series books 1 and 2 are also available as graphic novels with art by Anna Prashkovich.
Psychonaut – Read an excerpt here
Psychonaut – view Book Trailer
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