Saturday, July 20, 2013

Meet Francis Garfitt, Author of Jesus of Wigan (Will to Love)

About Francis Garfitt - Interview

I enjoyed writing at school, I'm not sure when creative writing died, but it did. I started JOW about 8 years ago. It went through three different iterations. I could probably keep changing it, messing with it for another decade. But you've got to move on.

I've only written one book and God knows what the genre is. Punk religion I guess, smash it up and see what's left.

I wrote the book for myself really, to keep myself healthy. I'll be interested to see if it resonates with others. I hope so.

The book is imagining the gospels take place now but in a parallel universe where England had lost world war two and was now part of a drab bankrupt Reich. I wanted to contextualize the story and see if I believed it.

I love reading and music too. Here goes a long list; Springsteen, James, the the, Norman MacLean, Stephen king, Tolkien, Eliot, Lewis, Milton, blake, Alan garner, Beatles, faithless, massive attack, Susan Cooper, Rowling, u2, the list goes on

My favourite book is a river runs through it by Norman MacLean (sorry spellchecker won't let me spell his last name properly). He writes in poetry and the scene when Paul describes 'all there is to thinking' is my favourite passage in the English language.

I like indie publishing because small is beautiful, creativity is a democratic art. The only advice I can offer is not to offer any advice. What the he'll do I know? I'm only just starting out myself.

Jesus of Wigan (Will to Love) by Francis Garfitt
FREE - 7/20/2013

Welcome to a new genre; punk religion, rock n'roll Jesus, techo exergesis... whatever. 'Jesus of Wigan' is less about the man himself and much more about the people around him, everyday people trying to make sense of a man who claims to be divine. I have taken the gospels and relocated the Holy Land to an England that has lost WWII, I've swapped Nazareth for Wigan, Jerusalem for London... you get the picture.

But does the story make any sense? The aim of writing the book was a personal creative act, to test the faith I was brought up in to destruction. I learned a great deal; some parts of the journey were breathtaking, some parts were pretty damn bleak.

I'm hoping the book follows in the tradition of Montaigne, Milton, Blake, Chesterton, Lewis, and Eliot. I'm hoping this book is part of a pattern that challenges people and makes them think. I know I'm not a beautiful writer, not yet. But I'll keep trying. One day, I'd like to write a story that reads like a poem, like my heroes Norman Maclean and Alan Garner. Whatever the technical flaws in 'JOW', it has heart. I always thought 'Lucky Town' was one of Springsteen's best albums because it was under-produced and raw.

I've come to the conclusion that spiritual health is a cornerstone of mental health and happiness. I loathe the will to power that I see underneath religion, science, politics, business, and so on. But I also recognise that same will to power inside of me. The message that the verb of God left for us is a transformative one. The process is incredibly difficult. The hope, the faith, is that it is not impossible; that nobody is lost.

JOW is pretty full on, it pulls punches, it cuts deep, the language reflects the depth of the emotion. I'm not deliberatley trying to offend, and if it does I apologise. My only defence is that sometimes you've gotta call a spade a spade.

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