Thank you very much, Anne, for hosting me today. It’s the third stop of my blog tour for my book Avalanche. As usual, I will start with a short blurb to introduce my book to those who are joining us for the first time and then I will move on to today’s topic.
Blurb for Avalanche
This is a novel about friendship, maybe in its unusual, extreme form. The two main characters, Mike and Nick, meet in the Alps on a scientific expedition. They become very close, but struggle to place their relationship in the context of their lives. They fear that the bond between them will not survive outside their research hut, and that the outside world will present challenges impossible to overcome. But then a tragic accident changes their lives forever... This story is an investigation into the nature of ties between people, the limits of loyalty and the power of conventions.
Emotion vs. Mind
In my book Avalanche I look into the nature of ties between people and seek to separate sexual and emotional sides of things, in effect building a platonic type of relationship in the world where sex has always been the order of the day.
This is my third stop and today I would like to go a bit further on the path of deconstruction and separate mental activity from emotional in a relationship. In our life we mostly act in accordance with our understanding of things. Very few people are in fact driven by intuition. We usually take decisions rationally, or at least in what appears to us to be a rational way. For example, when we have no food in the fridge, we take the decision to go shopping. We don’t go shopping because we get a feeling that this is the right place for us to be (err… I’m aware that some people do get these feelings and pretty much all the time, but this is the topic of a separate discussion).
Rationality is about categorising and selecting responses appropriate for categories, not individual tasks. It saves time and simplifies our life. We place every task into a category - in our example ‘missing goods’ + ‘edibles’, and we select an action - ‘to replenish’ - and the point of its application - the supermarket - in accordance with the type of task. When it comes to love and affection we behave in a very similar manner, perhaps forgetting that it’s no longer shopping we are dealing with here.
When we discover attraction to a fellow human being within ourselves, it feels pretty much like an empty fridge - a void to be filled. Where do we go to fill it? It depends on the type of attraction, and this is the most dangerous stage - this is the stage where we start categorising and getting things wrong most of the time. If you’re heterosexual and you meet a person of the opposite sex, you think in terms of romantic involvement. If it’s a person of the same sex you have met, you try to keep it within confines of friendship. In this case if the attraction is too strong you either supress it or feel compelled to change your sexual orientation, both of which have got to be wrong, because both involve you going against the very thing you’re trying to serve - your feelings. The important thing to remember is that every relationship is unique and by trying to confine it to a category you inevitably trim it.
Nick and Mike undertake a mental journey through a series of categories in their relationship before they eventually abandon them altogether. They start as colleagues thrown together by circumstances, then they realise that perhaps they enjoy each other’s company too much to be just colleagues and they become friends. Then they can no longer shut their eyes to the fact that they absolutely cannot exist without each other and this is where they falter. Because this is the point where they have to come out of the box, but mentally they are not ready for it. Their minds keep on lagging behind their hearts and they enter an emotional roller-coaster. They travel back to London where their relationship quickly develops cracks, which leads to a very messy and painful break-up. It happens because of their inability to disengage their minds and allow some room for things they don’t fully understand, things they can’t find a place for at this particular moment in time. Nick says: ‘This is the human nature: we tend to live the way we understand it, not the way it is.’ But this is something he comes to realise much later, when he gives it a second chance…
Have you ever had a feeling that your mind is not your best friend? Have you ever made a decision that was right no matter what way you look at it, yet felt utterly wrong? Do you consider yourself a rational or an emotional being?
Avalanche is available on Amazon US at $2.90 - http://www.amazon.com/Avalanche-Xena-Semikina-ebook/dp/B00J2XS6FC; and on Amazon UK at £1.81 http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00J2XS6FC. ePub is available at the Apple book store and Kobo at £1.99 and the equivalent in $ (sorry, don’t know the exact price as I have never caught a glimpse of the US respective stores).
Blog tour stops for Avalanche
1) 20 November 2014 Lane Hayes https://lanehayes.wordpress.com/blog/
2) 22 November 2014 Kim Fielding http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/category/blog/
3) 24 November 2014 Anne Barwell http://annebarwell.wordpress.com/
4) 26 November 2014 Sophie Bonaste http://sophiebonaste.blogspot.co.uk/
5) 28 November 2014 Shae Connor http://shaeconnorwrites.com
About Xena Semikina
Xena is a novelist and a lawyer in criminal practice, with a distant background in computer science. Writing has always been her passion, which she has been pursuing actively for well over a decade. She has written four novels and has published one, entitled Avalanche. She lives in London with occasional trips to the South of France and the North of Russia.
Xena can be found on Twitter at Xena5000 and Facebook as Xena Semikina. Her blog can be found here: http://xenasemikina.wordpress.com/