How I Wrote Crashing Eden
My first novel, Crashing Eden, tells the story of Joss Kazdan, a 17-year-old juvenile delinquent who is
depressed and guilt-ridden following the loss of his younger brother.
After suffering a concussion, he awakens to a beautiful sound that no one else can hear. He becomes convinced that it’s the primordial vibration of the universe, and by attuning himself to it he experiences ecstasy and feels at one with the cosmos. Things get even stranger when friends of his are able to construct a device that produces this same Edenic consciousness.
I don’t want to spoil the story, so I’ll just say that what starts out so promising, soon leads to generational conflict and cataclysmic destruction that threatens the very survival of humanity!
You may wonder: How did I come to write such a strange novel? I believe the story emerged from the convergence of the following three strands of my life.
1. Adolescence was a painful and confusing time for me, when my struggles with depression first began. I experienced mood swings, became increasingly introverted, socially isolated, and had to contend with deep feelings of guilt, self-hatred, and suppressed rage. These experiences were influential in my later becoming a psychologist, helping others to cope with the ravages of depression.
2. During my later teens, I developed a passionate interest in Eastern mysticism. I read books by mystics and gurus, started to meditate, and even joined a cult called Divine Light Mission. In my quest to transcend mundane existence, I also lived for a while in a commune located—I kid you not—in Paradise, Nova Scotia.
One night, I suffered a concussion in a car crash in which I was a passenger and was lucky to survive. Like my protagonist in Crashing Eden, I spent the days following the concussion in what I can only call a state of grace, filled with deep feelings of gratitude and joy.
3. Throughout my life I’ve been interested in world mythology. I’m especially intrigued by the widespread myths suggesting that humans have degenerated from an ancient state of grace, symbolized by Paradise or the Golden Age.
To sum up, I believe that my history of depression and experience as a psychotherapist allowed me to get inside the head of my adolescent protagonist and find his voice. My fascination with mysticism and my personal experience of grace led me to conceive of a transcendent state to which my protagonist aspires. And my familiarity with the Golden Age myths provided a framework for the story.
From there, I used my imagination to envision how the God of the Old Testament might react to an impudent gang of teenagers who discover a way to crash the Gates of Eden. That’s when the story gets really interesting!
And now it's time for the giveaway! Michael will be giving away three copies of Crashing Eden!
Crashing Eden by
Published May 11th 2012
(first published May 1st 2012)
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
For one boy and his friends, the path to Paradise comes at a cost — one they may not be prepared to pay.
When a biking
accident leaves 17- year- old Joss Kazdan with the ability to hear things others can’t, reality as he knows it begins to unravel.
A world of legends exists beyond the ordinary life he’s always known, and he is transported to the same Paradise he’s studying in World Mythology. But the strange gets even stranger when his new friends build a device that delivers people through the gates of the Garden of Eden.
Now Samael, the Creator God, is furious. As Samael rains down his apocalyptic devastation on the ecstasy-seeking teens, Joss and his companions must find a way to appease Samael—or the world will be destroyed forever
There will be THREE (3) winners chosen.
Winners have 72 hours to reply email, or there will be new winners chosen.
The giveaway will end on September 2nd at 12:01 AM.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Michael Sussman is the author of Crashing Eden, a YA fantasy/paranormal novel, and Otto Grows Down, a children’s picture book featuring illustrations by Scott Magoon.
Dr. Sussman is a clinical psychologist and has also published two books for mental health professionals. He’s the author of A Curious Calling: Unconscious Motivations for Practicing Psychotherapy and the editor of A Perilous Calling: The Hazards of Psychotherapy Practice.
He resides in the Boston area with his son, Ollie.
Buy from Amazon | Buy from Amazon UK paperback /
e-book | Buy from Barnes & Noble | Buy from Smashwords
| Author’s website and blog | Twitter @MichaelBSussman
| Facebook Fan Page