Inspired by a time slip
An encounter with the past led Rowan Coleman to pen her bestselling novels...
The amazing psychic moment that gave Rowan Coleman a glimpse of the past and set her on a new path to become a bestselling novelist
‘That psychic moment freed me from my dull job’
Standing in Worcester Cathedral in front of King John’s tomb, I shivered. There was something otherworldly about seeing the resting place of a man who’d lived, loved and breathed in the 1100s, so many centuries before.
It was summer 1995, I was 24, on a day trip with my flatmate *Jen, and questioning whether there was more to life than my boring job as a secretary at a publishing company. There are only so many days you can spend filing paperwork and making the tea without wishing there was more...
Jen and I had wandered away from each other, each becoming immersed in this wonderful place that oozed history.
Without warning, the lights of the cathedral went out and I was plunged into complete darkness.
The ancient musty smell of the building vanished and a smoky, spicy scent filled my nostrils instead.
What was going on, had there been a power cut? Suddenly, out the corner of my eye, I saw what looked like a candle flickering.
Then I felt a hand on my shoulder.
‘Jen!’ I turned with relief – only to stare into an empty space.
Someone had touched me.
I’d definitely felt the weight of a hand on my shoulder, the grip of fingers.
Then the lights snapped back on again and the spicy scent was again replaced by the old, musty smell. Looking up, I saw Jen striding towards me, smiling.
‘What the hell happened there?’ I said to her, gabbling on about the strange power cut and the eerie hand on my shoulder.
‘What power cut?’ she shrugged, interrupting me. It was clear she didn’t have a clue what
I was talking about.
On the way home in the car I fell quiet, thinking about what had happened, trying to make sense of it. I couldn't explain it, but it felt as if I’d somehow gone back in time.
I was an agnostic but had always been open to proof there are other planes of existence, not bound by ‘normal’ time.
But come Monday morning, sat back at my desk doing my everyday humdrum tasks, my ‘time travel’ experience seemed so far removed from my life. However, it remained with me.
Then, one night a few years later, after another mind-numbing day at the office, I impulsively reached for my laptop and started writing about what had happened that day. I felt strangely compelled and I couldn’t stop.
Two years later, in 2002, I stared down at the published pages of Growing Up Twice, a book about two friends growing up and trying to make sense of the world.
My psychic moment had freed me from my dull, unsatisfying job, and given me a new career as a novelist!
As the years passed, my mind still refused to let go of that strange day in Worcester cathedral.
Inspired again, I started writing a story, this time about a heroine called Luna, who has glimpses into the past – just like I’d had – which helped her save her mother’s life.
‘The Summer of Impossible Things I’ll call it,’ I thought as I lay in bed that night.
After I’d finished writing, I decided to treat myself to a stay in a Georgian hotel in Bath.
Just as I was nodding off to sleep I heard faint voices, a woman and a child whispering. They were coming from within my room!
I couldn’t see them or make out what they were saying, but I smiled into the darkness.
I knew instantly that what I was hearing was a conversation from the past.
Once again, I reached for my laptop and started writing…
ROWAN’S NOVEL The Summer of Impossible Things is published by Ebury Press, priced £12.99.
My experience changed everything
King John's tomb at Worcester Cathedral