Publishing Perspectives: Darryl Sloan

In the first of a new series of author perspectives, we take a look at Darryl Sloan, from Portadown, Northern Ireland. Sloan is a sci-fi author with a distinctive and innovative style of writing borne out of his years growing up in 1970’s Ulster and ultimately ending up working at the school he attended in childhood. Here is Sloan speaking candidly in 2008 about his experiences of self-publishing accompanied by video.

“I’ve self-published two novels and made a success of both. Here’s my perspective on self-publishing, looking past all the negativity and seeing something that authors and readers should be excited about.”

Darryl Sloan, Author.

Artistically gifted in writing, design, music and film-making, Sloan has demonstrated a vibrant, inquisitive and exploring nature on the themes of self, humanity and spiritual identity to a threatening backdrop of science and horror. Sloan lives his life as his words on the page explore other worlds, within and without, moment by moment. It is easy to see why he has become a niche cult and inspiration to many young and adult readers.
Recently, he did an interview with the New Podler Reviews and his latest self-published novel is Reality Check, but many of his fans will remember him from his previous 2008 book, Chion, of which you can hear a podcast excerpt.
Here is some of Darryl Sloan’s story in his own words.

“My first novel [Ulterior], set in Clounagh Junior High School, and born out of my affection for the place. I turned the mundane into the fantastic, filling the building with mystery and danger and adventure. I shopped it around a few publishers and agents, and got nowhere fast, just like ninety-nine percent of writers who try. The choice was then to either consign my baby to the shelf or do the whole publishing game myself. My computing background had already given me the needed skills in desktop publishing and graphics, so I set about doing just that. I invested £2,000 in a print-run of 1,000 books, and sold the whole lot in a period of three and a half years.

In 2003 I moved house for the first time ever, aged thirty, finally breaking away from my parents and buying a place of my own. Women have not played a large part in my life to date. That may change, or it may not. There are advantages to the latter, chiefly the issue of time, for those who wish to write, because it takes a tremendous commitment that not everyone is willing or able to give.

In 2005 Midnight Pictures reached a turning point. After making six films on shoe-string budgets, it was time to either shift up a gear or quit. Andrew and I mutually agreed to bring Midnight Pictures to an end. However, since then, we haven’t been able stop ourselves from planning future films. It’s very likely Midnight Pictures will rise from the ashes before long.

In 2007 I published my second novel, Chion, which is selling successfully at present. I have full synopses for two more, plus a short story collection, all of which I hope to write and publish over the next few years.

In 2008 I obtained a sense of clarity about my the great spiritual struggle of my life between Christianity and athiesm. The real reason why I couldn’t stop bouncing between these two opposing beliefs is because (cue drum roll) both are false. On the one hand there is God with all the trappings of religion, a rigid belief system with imposed dogma that must not be questioned, holding your mind in bondage. On the other is a belief system entrenched in assumptions that the physical world is all there is; no afterlife, no meaning to your life, no meaning to the universe itself. Each of these two belief systems comes with its own set of problems, and in my experience neither can satisfy the human spirit.

What I never realised until now was that I didn’t have to pick one or the other. There were other options that I had never considered. I learned to put a little trust in my intuition, and the view of life that resonates most deeply with me is that the universe is not all matter but all mind (or rather, all consciousness). We are all one consciousness undergoing an experience of separation from each other. We’re like droplets of water, but collectively we make up the ocean. In practical terms, this belief dramatically affects how you treat people, which is perhaps why I put so much stock in it. Beyond this physical framework, if I am you and you are me, how can I ever be unfair or callous or mean? When we hurt others, we hurt ourself.

Coincidental with this radical change in beliefs, I started looking into the so-called paranormal, particularly themes in keeping with understanding consciousness. My specific area of interest was telekinesis (moving objects with the mind), because I had seen it done for real when I was a teenager. I now decided to attempt it myself, and to my delight I discovered quite quickly and easily that telekinesis is indeed a reality. I have continued to practice and develop the ability from its humble beginnings as a minuscule, erratic but measurable force into something stronger and more streamlined. Don’t ask me to pick up my light sabre from the ground without bending down, but who knows what’s ultimately possible? It’s an exciting journey.”

Darryl Sloan, Author.

You can follow this intriguing and fascinating author on his blog and website here.

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