THE POWER OF THE MIND
by Chris Reynolds
The mind is so powerful, it can sometimes seem impossible that it is limited to merely thinking of stuff. It can conjure up some amazing stuff, there is no doubt — symphonies, great literature, sub-atomic particle physics — but it is so alive, there must be more to it than that.
This idea is at the heart of my novel, Mind Secrets. I’d always loved stories about people with mind powers, whether it be telepathy, telekinesis or psi-powers, but many of them seemed too far-fetched. The idea that someone could throw another person across the room just by looking at them works great in the movies, but it is one step beyond what seems plausible. Our thoughts and our feelings, however, are so strong, it is easy to imagine how someone else might eavesdrop on them. I know it isn’t possible in the real world, but I was intrigued by the idea that, someday, that ability might evolve in humans.
It is one simple change that could alter the balance of power in the population. Imagine if teenagers started to develop that ability, how would they be looked upon by adults? They would be feared, treated with suspicion and that could lead to tensions which threaten to overspill into violence. And those tensions already exist within society, there is a gulf between teenagers and adults which has been around since before James Dean broke free from his parents in Hollywood’s influential 1955 movie Rebel Without a Cause. Teenagers are seen as people who hang around on street corners being a nuisance, are hoddie-wearing binge-drinking creatures with their heads buried in their mobile phones. It is not difficult to imagine society conspiring to change the teenage culture.
It all seems very unfair to the teenager who just wants to be left alone to do their own thing. And it was that feeling of being isolated and ostracised that I wanted to draw on in the novel. It was something I felt when I was a teenager. I wasn’t like the other kids, I was into reading books and watching science fiction films. I felt different and I wanted to express that difference by dying my hair crazy colours and wearing clothes that didn’t look like anyone else’s. I think that’s why I related so much to stories of teenagers with special powers. They were different, like I was different, and what’s more that difference was ‘special’ and exciting. I wanted to be like them. And, when I grew up, I wanted to write about them.
The teenagers in Mind Secrets are having to live in a world where specialness has been thrust upon them. They didn’t ask to be Perceivers — to sense the thoughts and feelings of other people — but they are dealing with it nonetheless. Not too dissimilar to the difficulties of going through puberty, with all the feelings of having no control over the things changing inside of you.
Not as if I went out of my way to write a polemic about the modern teenager and society — because that would be pretty dull. I sat down to write an adventure story about youngsters with special powers who have to fight to protect themselves against adults who don’t understand them. About a group of young people trying to find out more about Perception and the hidden agenda behind those who want to ‘cure’ them of it. About a boy uncovering the truth about his past, how it relates to the rise of Perception, and why his memories were wiped. It is only after I had finished the book that I sat back and thought about where all the story had come from and of all the things which my subconscious had put into the writing.
Chris Reynolds is a lover of adventure stories. Chris spent her time growing up avidly reading them, watching them on TV and writing them in her school exercise books. She was often frustrated that stories written by other people didn’t go the way she wanted them to, so she decided to write her own. In the interim, she has worked for the BBC and independent radio as a journalist, written for magazines and some published non-fiction books. Now her stories are available for all to read, following the release of her acclaimed debut novel Mind Secrets. Chris lives among the Chiltern Hills, north of London.
Chris’s online home is: http://www.chrisreynolds-writer.co.uk
On the run and without his memories, Michael escapes from a man called Carter onto the unfamiliar streets of London. There, he meets a gang of teenagers with the power to sense the thoughts and feelings of others. They live in fear of ‘the cure’, a mysterious process which takes away their power and, some believe, destroys their personality. Suspecting the cure caused his memory loss, Michael goes undercover to investigate the truth behind the doctors of the cure clinic. What he discovers leads him to a conspiracy that runs to the heart of government and reveals the shocking reality of his own past.
Mind Secrets is a compelling thriller set in a contemporary world and will appeal to anyone who’s ever wondered what it’s like to have mind powers.
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