Thursday, November 8, 2007
One of my books, SOUNDTRACK, is about a catastrophe that befalls Lagandall, a fictional village by the sea. A comet hangs in the sky over the sea, where the disaster happens, like a portent of doom. The uncanny fictional event mirrored a shocking real one that occurred off the coast of Scotland: the Antares disaster. The comet was real too. I would look out of my window and see the Hale-Bop comet flaring like a ghost or an angel above the rooftops as I wrote. And I discovered all kinds of superstitions and fears and fascinations trail in a comet's wake. In ancient times, when a comet appeared in the sky, the world held its breath and wondered what might follow.
So on this sparkling, cold and clear November night I will stand at the top of the hill where I live and search the skies for the exploding Comet Holmes: 'the strangest comet to burst onto the celestial scene in our lifetime'.