In­spired by a time slip

An en­counter with the past led Rowan Cole­man to pen her best­selling nov­els...

Spirit and Destiny - - Contents -

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.

An­other world

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.

Con­stant in­spi­ra­tion

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

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