About the Author
Peter Gribble has written for NUVO and other magazines in British Columbia.
For over ten years he wrote a monthly gardening column for a local Vancouver paper.
The City of the Magicians is his first published series.
Inspired me? It was the initial puzzle really … I wondered how a pacifist, non-violent city-state could effectively prepare for a barbarian invasion while keeping their integrity intact. The City Council comes up with a decent solution plus a way of delivering it but as usual with good ideas they can hit unexpected snags.
Then there were the images hanging about in my head patiently waiting for me to write towards them. When they are ready (or I am) they pop onto the page as if readymade. It’s not writing; more like taking dictation. One of these images haunted me for years until it finally found its place in the third book of the series: In the midst of a fire, an unknown book’s flyleaf is blown smoking into your grasp. On it is a dedication inscribed to someone you know.
I have written a few novels over the years but this one demanded to be published. It was out of my hands the instant I started writing.
How a different culture sees reality; insights into human motivations; one’s own and others. Ordinary people can become extraordinary under crisis. What is possible? It may depend on the depth of your compassion, the commitment to help, the strength of your integrity and the willingness to forgive. In the City one character has tucked these away just to survive while another struggles to maintain his, just to keep going.
The other reason for writing the City series was personal and private but I can tell it now. I was in a Scheherazade-like position writing a story for someone concerning subjects I could not openly discuss. Robert, my partner of many years, an otherwise very intelligent man, steadfastly refused to consider the value of a spiritual or inner life. Thus I wrote City. He enjoyed the first three books and the constraint on the subject matter eased but not entirely. After 43 years together and a long decline, he died March 7, 2020. Book one, Threat is dedicated to him.
I have enjoyed writing since I was a boy. Other people’s stories tend to interest me more than my own whether I witness them myself or am told them directly or read them in history or memoir. Much in The City of the Magicians series has been inspired by actual events I have seen or come across reading non-fiction. It is true when they say truth is stranger than fiction. It is that very strangeness, which fascinates me.