Help me write another book!
Announcing my next book project, and how you can help me write it.
A few months ago, after finishing one of the installments of my recurring series, “The Mysteria,” I suddenly realised I needed to write another book.
Yes, of course, I’ve just written one. That one, Here Be Mosters, will be released by its UK publisher, Repeater Books, on 12 September.
But the curse — or joy, depending on the day — of being a writer is that you are always writing. You don’t have much choice in the matter, and anyway you’re not sure you’d choose otherwise.
This next book will be on the influence of magic and belief in Europe on capitalism and liberal democracy; or, in other words, on political theology. If you’ve read the essays in my series, “The Mysteria,” then you already have an idea what is meant by the term. It’s based off the observation by Carl Schmitt that all modern political institutions are really secularized religious ones. This is immediately obvious when you consider the phrase vox populi vox dei: the will of the people is the will of god.
In other words, democracy has merely shifted the source of political authority away from one source and to another, but the idea that there’s a “source” still remains. This idea —that authority must have a source — is part of the “theology” of “political theology.”
Capitalism, liberal democracy, the nation state, and all other modern political arrangements are at their heart theological. Each is born from a specific cosmology that is just as metaphysical as any explicitly religious one, despite its supposed secularism. More so, many of these things were born from explicit religious and occult concerns. As I noted in “The Mystery of Lawlessness,” for example, the Nation State was first iterated by Jean Bodin, a Carmelite friar obsessed with stopping a plague of demon-led witches from destroying Europe.
And if you’ve been reading my essays for our book club on Silvia Federici’s Caliban & The Witch, you’ll probably already see how much there is to write about here.
So, it’s time for me to start another book, and I really need your help.
The amount of work this book will require is very significant, but that’s not going to be obstacle for me. Here Be Monsters took quite a lot of work as well, and even when it felt deeply exhausting I couldn’t actually have stopped myself writing it. This project, which I’m tentatively titling The Mysteria, will be no different.
What will be different, however, is its cost.
I was given a modest advance for Here Be Monsters, which was more than enough to purchase the books I needed to read for reference. It also allowed me reduce my other work a little in order to make space for writing it.
Unlike that book, however, I’ll be starting The Mysteria without an advance or a publishing contract. I do have a publisher in mind for the book, and I’ve already let them know I intend to solicit them once I’ve a significant enough manuscript for them to consider.
To get to that point, I’ll need to read a lot of books. I’ve already begun compiling a list of initial research sources, and this is why I’m really going to need your help.
These books are going to cost a lot of money.
Several of the books on my initial list are now out of print or were published from academic printers in small runs. Their prices — even for used copies — are over $100. And even though others are more “reasonably priced,” many of them cost between $30 to $60.
When I started adding up the cost of the first ten books on my list, I stopped because I was already at $700. And these are just the books for initial research. Many more will be added once I’ve a better idea which direction to look.
While I know that some authors go through Kickstarter or other crowd-funding platforms for their books, I don’t believe such a thing is necessary for The Mysteria.
In fact, I think Substack is the absolute best way to go about this, since you folks are already my most devoted readers and will likely anyway be the ones most eager to read the book when it comes out.
How you can help me write this book
As you maybe know, there are multiple subscription tiers for From The Forests of Arduinna. The free one gets you access to most of what I write, while the paid subscription tier (monthly or yearly) also gives paid-only essays and early access to episodes of The Re/al/ign.
There is a also third tier, the Founding Member plan. This tier allows you all the benefits of a paid membership and a few other extras, including free enrollment in courses. Eighteen of my most supportive readers are already subscribers at this level, and this option also allows you to enter in a higher amount than the recommended support level.
For those of you who are already founding members, I sent you an email letting you know that I intend to start thanking you at the end of each essay in the Mysteria series. For those of you who are not yet founding members, I’d love to add you to this list.
Becoming a founding member of From The Forests of Arduinna means giving me the resources to buy the books I’ll need for this new manuscript, as well as giving me a little extra breathing room to focus on it instead of other projects.
To become one, you can either upgrade a regular paid or free subscription at the link below, or you can go to your user settings with substack to upgrade.
Support The Mysteria
And even if you cannot become a founding member now, a regular paid subscription or even the purchase of my books also helps a lot.
If you’d instead prefer to do one time gifts as some have done, I can accept donations through PayPal (please email me for this information). Also, I have posted some of the research books I intend to read for this manuscript as an Amazon wishlist.
Thank you. I’m excited to birth this book into the world!