Today I looked at the first research notes I made for the book that became The Priest, the Witch & the Poltergeist and saw they were dated March 18, 1999. That’s 13 years ago. The paperback was published two years ago and the soundtracked e-book will come out this fall.
Over a decade, I thought reflexively, that you’ve been making a fool of yourself.
It’s the go-to phrase for anyone who takes a risk or opens herself to ridicule or persists in something that ‘everyone’ understands is futile. Nobody wants to lose dignity accidentally, but to make a fool of yourself is to do it on purpose. Writing books is considered a stellar way to start. So is abandoning nonfiction for fiction, which I did both in my career and in this particular story, because there wasn’t enough historical information about the Cideville poltergeist and I wanted to get into the heads of the people affected by it.
In order never to make a fool of yourself, however, you have to hold yourself tighter and tighter until something in the centre of you can’t breathe. Nor can you tell for the hundredth time the strange story of this male witch who was beaten by a priest over a poltergeist, and who had the courage to stand up for himself and sue. I get to resurrect Felix Thorel a little bit each time I tell the 150-year-old story of a man considered worthless by his village and a scapegoat by the village priest–in other words, considered a fool–who decided he wasn’t going to lie down bleeding and broken, literally, and take it.
Thirteen years of making a fool of myself seems an easy price to pay.