Book: The Authors of this Dream
Author: Seth Mullins
"Poet and musician Seth Mullins is the author of the “Edge of the Known” series, which begins with “The Authors of this Dream” releasing on May 11, 2021. His fiction vividly dramatizes journeys of self-discovery and emotional catharsis. Inspired by inner explorations, including dream-work and shamanism, Seth is unafraid to take an inward plunge and shares the fruits of his descent with his audience. He lives in Vermont."
1. What specific elements of rock culture did you emphasize in the book, The Authors of This Dream?
A band’s songs and performances can resonate so deeply with an audience that a communal experience, a kind of tribal identity, is created. Musicians can become mythologized, inviting mass projections. Their music - and the aura surrounding it - becomes a mirror for our most cherished ideals and our deepest fears, collectively.
The book also confronts a lot of popular - and erroneous - notions about creativity itself: the idea that creativity and self-destruction go hand in hand; that artists with vision are never long for the world; that a person must suffer in order to produce any enduring work.
2. What are some characteristics of a great rock band and do you believe Brandon Chane and his band members demonstrated any of these characteristics?
Many of the most magical and transcendent moments in music, for performers and audience alike, occur spontaneously, with maybe only a hint of forethought. A great rock band allows space for that plunge into the unknown. That sense of unpredictability, even danger, generates tremendous energy and excitement. It pushes the bounds of emotion and imagination. In Brandon’s case, this spontaneous approach often works because he’s desperate enough to pursue the Muse at all costs.
3. What was your writing process like for this book?
Composing the band’s lyrics posed a peculiar challenge. From my own ego perspective, the temptation was always there to make Brandon’s words as insightful as possible, but that wouldn’t have demonstrated his growth as a writer or reflect his gradual discovery of his own voice. I had to find a way to show a young man’s artistic genius emerging in erratic fits and starts.
4. Creating and writing a story about a fictional rock group must have been a blast! What was your favorite part about carving out your own little piece of rock history?
The most satisfying part was exploring the creative process itself, because that’s a mysterious space that’s always attracted me. It lured me into learning as much as I could about a lot of different artists over the years.
Also, rock music has long been associated with rebellion, with blazing your own path in life, but so many bands sound like they'd rather join the establishment than rail against it. Where are the voices of dissent? For me, Edge of the Known held the space for that aura of honesty, risk and passion that characterized the music scene of the early 1990s, when I was a teenager.
5. What real-life rock bands did you study and research while writing The Authors of This Dream?
I’ve read dozens of music biographies over the years. The most recent ones have included Life by Keith Richards, Light My Fire by Ray Manzarek (keyboardist for The Doors), Sing Backwards and Weep by Mark Lanegan, It’s So Easy (and Other Lies) by Duff McKagan of Guns’n’Roses, and a biography of Soundgarden and Chris Cornell entitled Total F*cking Godhead.
6. What real-life rock bands did you play and listen to while writing The Authors of This Dream?
7. Who is your favorite rock band?
I doubt I could even narrow it down to five bands. Different music resonates with me in very different ways, and my preferences change depending on the mental and emotional space I may be in at the moment. High on my list, though, are Mark Lanegan, Syd Barrett, The Doors, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.
8. Do you believe that the music of today still influences our society the way it did in the 20th Century?
I think there’s just as much collective hunger for the kind of communal experience that great rock records and concerts can provide, but maybe not as many bands satisfying that need as at other peak periods (for instance, the Beatles in the 1960s and Nirvana in the early 1990s). Art is the lifeblood of a culture, whether it’s the drama and theatre of the ancient Greeks, an Inuit shaman chanting and dancing to the accompaniment of drums and rattles, or a Black Sabbath concert. Music is one of our most powerful doorways to inner experience.
9. What do you hope readers take from this book?
The core of the book’s message is contained within its title. We are the authors of this dream that we call our lives. And we, being the dreamers, have the power to make it a beautiful and fulfilling dream.
More people would probably devote themselves to the journey of self-discovery if they knew that there was a precious treasure waiting to be found on the other side. By and large, our cultural education insists that there is no inner world - or that it’s a dangerous place to venture into. But an inexhaustible source of wisdom, knowledge and healing lives within us. That’s the treasure, and it’s available to everyone who's willing to undertake the work of getting there. And the way isn't as difficult as many people believe it is, either.
10. Do you plan on writing more books in the future?
The Edge of the Known series will encompass several more books. I’ve already completed the second volume, Fire Thieves Reborn. Brandon’s personal journey serves as a catalyst for a widespread cultural shift. As he learns to translate his inner understanding into songs, and reaches more and more people with his music, it ignites some pretty powerful Dionysian frenzy throughout the world.
Places To Find More From This Author:
Youtube: Seth Mullins
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