Well, there was a very distinct way it kind of all came together.
My own history
Firstly, the town that I grew up in is famous for its copper discovery in the 1860s. The copper vein was discovered, by all things, a wombat! I just love this story. And it intrigued me. And if you’ve read Madame Maudelynne and The New Way, you’ll see where I used a monkey instead of a wombat. So if you thought that plot point was not that believable, as always, truth is stranger than fiction!
And then that lead me to researching copper. Mainly what copper does to the body. I was really fascinated by the fact that copper is a natural preventative for malaria and I thought, how fantastic would it be to have this as an idea in my novel where people used copper as medicine and to manipulate human bodies?
I also really love that copper is a metal of balance. It balances so many things: it’s physical needs with its spiritual needs, our thoughts with what we do or say, etc.
And I think this is something that my main character in Madame Maudelynne struggles with as she descends into madness after losing the supposed love of her life.
Copper and alchemy
In true alchemy, copper is associated with the planet Venus. I thought, wouldn’t it be amazing if all planets in our solar system started of as one big one (kind of like how we believe all countries were initially one) and then broke apart over time. But if something has once been joined, there is possibility to rejoin. Madame Maudelynne believed and was told in no uncertain terms through her channelling from Spirit, that Venus had been joined to earth at one point (which is why there was so much copper found in her location) and would rejoin again. Once rejoined, those who had “prepared” properly would be able to live a new life, in a new way, on the joined planets. Those underprepared, would burn alive. And like how any cult is formed on raging and radical beliefs, her cult was born.
My own cult
I’ve had a fascination with cults since… forever? I remember reading about cults years ago and being so fascinated by them. I tried to research more, but there was nothing on them that went into detail in a way my teenage self could understand. I probably read my first book on them when I was ten or eleven? Maybe.
Then one day, while climbing around at an abandoned copper smelter near Venus (which is located in Arizona), I found these pamphlets from Madame Maudelynne sitting inside of this old building with water seeping out of its walls. There were articles written like they had been translated poorly from French or something else… And just seeing those words made me want to know more about her and how she came up with this idea for people who share some kind of connection between earth and Venus…
Just kidding that never happened.
But what DID happen, despite my poor memory of childhood, there is one that stands out so distinctly that it feels like it happened last night. I don’t know if I was ill or just falling asleep as a young child and I started having a little fever induced hallucination. I honestly thought there were ten people in my room all wearing these white fleecy windcheaters (it was the eighties, okay!) with a felt iron on “10” on the front in black, bold font. They were trying to get me to go with them and ‘join the Tens.’
Upon reflection, I’d really have no choice but to write about it one day, right?