Most businesses cater to either our realized needs, our desires, or our fantasies. And of course, these three categories are connected in various ways. Some businesses cater to our fears, and a few, to our hopes. Commentators have told me over the years that one reason my talks and books are successful is that they bring people hope. They display the wisdom we need to spark and ground our hopes for a better future. And today, I've realized for the first time that this may also be true of the new novels I've been writing.
I've enjoyed or benefited from various types of dystopian literature at times in my life - from Orwell's books to The Handmaid's Tale to The Hunger Games and the Divergent series. And in troubled times, people often turn to such books as needed cautionary tales, and as instructive explorations into the dark side of human nature. After the Arab Spring of 2010 and 2011 worked out so badly, at least in the short run, writers in North Africa began a sudden turn toward darkness in their own poems and fiction. I certainly understand that. But there's a big part of me sensing now that what we most need in turbulent times is a literature of hope, well grounded, thoughtful, responsible hope. And as I deepen in that realization, I come to see that this is exactly what I've been writing and editing for the past six years—an epic adventure series of books, set in Egypt in 1934 and 1935, that explores the best in our nature as it responds to the worst. Issues of courage, friendship, love, and the power of the mind weave through the books and cumulatively create the elements of a very powerful worldview, anchored in ancient thought and yet responsive to the best of modern science. Without realizing what I've been doing—other than writing as fast as I could to get onto the computer a vivid movie I was seeing in my head each day—I was bringing into the world precisely the sort of literature I think we now most need, in our nation and globally. And that gives me a new sense of excitement and personal adventure about continuing to bring these novels into print for their growing audience. After being told by my agents repeatedly that I'm a nonfiction writer, not a fiction guy, even without looking at the fiction, I decided to create my own imprint and a business to bring these new books into existence in our time. And a new publishing imprint unconnected from the major New York houses that I've worked through in the past gets no publicity, but then provides many distinctive gratifications. And, again, as I've said here before, I deeply appreciate those of you who are reading and writing me your impressions of these books. May we together launch something very new into our time. www.TheOasisWithin.com