CEEL contributor Alison Miller about her graphic novel My Life in a Dream, which she will present at Greenwich Book Festival this Saturday:
“Imagine a dream where you’re late for school, you’re running to catch the train, you throw your bags in first – but before you can jump in, the train pulls away. You’re anxious to get your bags back but become terrified to discover the train is going to ‘Vygotsky’ the end of the trans-Siberian railway and even worse – Stalin’s domain. What is ‘Vygotsky’ and why is a railway porter coaxing you into a Hungarian village to help you make the journey as ‘Siberia is a cold and desolate place’. By the end of the dream it’s all been made clear.
My unconscious created this narrative at a time in my life when I was in crisis and feared psychological annihilation. Happily, the allegory of the dream helped guide me to a more peaceful, creative and positive place. You don’t have to be a writer with the legacy of Hungarian origins like me to recognise this as the universal ‘Hero’s Journey’.
In the early stages of writing a novel, I took time out to attend comic book drawing classes – I hadn’t drawn anything since I was at school – and discovered my ability to draw hadn’t abandoned me at all. I was on a mission. I researched how to self-publish, get my graphic short story printed, get it distributed in comic book shops in London, Dublin and Edinburgh – learning how to sell your creation up front and personal. I began to discover the friendly and supportive community of comic book artists, engaged with people at Comic book fairs and displayed at exhibitions.
Tt the Greenwich Book Festival this coming Saturday, 15 June 2019, I’ve been invited to talk about ‘My life in a dream’ and how it all came about. I’m hoping that my experience of entering the world of graphic comics and stories will inspire others to get into drawing, express their ideas and most important of all – have fun.”
The talk will take place on Saturday, 15thJune 2019 at 2.30pm as part of ‘The Platform Event: A Greenwich Showcase’, Venue: Lower Deck of the Dreadnought Building, University of Greenwich London SE10.
The Greenwich Book Festival runs from 13 – 16thJune 2019 See web-site: www.Greenwichbookfest.com