She Is Not Invisible Blog Tour

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Laureth Peak’s father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers–a skill at which she’s remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness. She Is Not Invisible is an intricate puzzle of a novel that sheds a light on the delicate ties that bind people to each other.

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Marcus Sedgwick's phenomenal new book She Is Not Invisible. The author himself wrote this guest post, and fans of the book will appreciate it.


We’ve all had it happen to us. That freaky moment that sends a tingle up your spine and your eyes to first widen, and then narrow, as you wonder what, if anything, it means. Maybe it was a chance meeting with an old school friend in an airport on the other side of the world. Maybe it was finding out that your new boss has your mother’s (very obscure) maiden name. Perhaps it was just turning the radio on to find that they’re playing the song that was already in your head. Or maybe it was something so impossibly unlikely that when it happened to you, you got more than the chills, you got scared.

Whatever that moment of coincidence was, there’s no doubt that such incidents have always fascinated us. And yet there’s something odd here; despite the fact that we all seem to love them, you’ve probably noticed what happens when you try and tell someone else about the AMAZING thing that just happened to you on the subway. You tell your friend/parent/co-worker/whoever, and you probably are treated to, at best, polite and feigned interest, and at worst, total boredom and a desire to change the subject as soon as possible. Because as interesting as coincidences are, it’s very hard to convey that sense of excitement to anyone else. ‘Well,’ you end lamely, ‘you had to be there.’

That was one of the challenges of writing She Is Not Invisible – how to get around that obstacle of getting anyone else to feel the way you did about your freaky moment. The answer was not to write a book about coincidence, but to write a book about a writer writing a book about coincidence. That meant I got to whizz through some of what the world’s greatest thinkers had to say on the subject.

In modern times, Carl Jung (who along with Freud, was the co-founder of psychoanalysis) is perhaps the first name to mention. He was obsessed by coincidences. And I mean obsessed. He decided to give them a new name, and coined the word synchronicity to describe the concept of the meaningful coincidence. He wrote a book with the same name, a book that influenced later writers on the subject. Men like Paul Kammerer, who, being a biologist, decided to trying to make things a little more scientific with his Law of Seriality, which attempted to establish how chance incidents can clump together. Later, the Hungarian author Arthur Koestler wrote The Roots of Coincidence, a book that is probably a product of the decade in which it was written; the seventies. His book strays a bit to far into the paranormal, ESP, and psychokinesis for my taste.

There is, of course, another way to consider the subject; and that’s through mathematics. This argument says that it’s all down to chance. That even the weirdest and least likely coincidences possible (for example, the famous Richard Parker story) are bound to happen sooner or later, given that the world has a near infinite amount of things that can form a coincidence with any other thing. Your chances of winning the lottery might be 56 million to one. And you might not win. But someone does, most weeks. It’s all about the math.

Now, having studied coincidence for several years before writing this book, this viewpoint is one I have quite a lot of sympathy for. And yet, for one thing, it does rather take the mystery out of it all. And for another thing, every now and again, something SO weird happens to you, and that tingle crawls up your neck again, making you doubt all the sensible mathematical theory all over again. Something like that happened to me while I was writing the book, and as I said above, it was something so unlikely, that it seriously freaked me out. It scared me. Feelings like that tend to trump math, any time.

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour!

She Is Not Invisible Blog Tour Schedule

Monday April 7

Tuesday April 8

Thursday April 10

Friday April 11

Monday April 14

Tuesday April 15

Thursday April 17

Friday April 18
Finding Bliss in Books

See Marcus on tour in the US!
Follow Marcus on Twitter!
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