Q & A With Author Anthony Donnelly about “49q? The Enigma Continues”
Question: ‘49q?’ is a strange title for a book, is there a story behind it?
Anthony Donnelly: A strange title for a strange book! When I was first working on the whole concept – not just this novel but the other two, the film, and the music album – back in the 1990s, I was doing a lot of channeling, occult stuff, and meditation… the expression ‘49q’ kept coming into my head again and again… I added the question mark and it was my working title for the project. I had no idea it would become the title for the duration. If you want to know what it means, you’ll have to read the book… that’s part of what it’s all about, solving the mystery.
Question: So what is ‘49q? The Enigma Continues’ all about?
Anthony Donnelly: Great question! Like most things that are very different, this began as an experiment. I’d never written a full-length novel before, only shorts, articles, and essays, so I wanted to break the mold and do something really different. My thinking was that this was like Joyce’s Uylesses, it would be so different that it either wouldn’t work, or it would… no inbetween. I began with some rough ideas, the main one being that I wanted to break with tradition and write the story in BOTH first and third person. I was questioning lots of things in life at the time, and I thought, “Why can’t a book be written in both?” It will take a few of the readers a while to get used to the style, but it’s worth it.
As to what the story is about… Life? It should give the reader a sense of exploration, self-discovery, mystery. There are many plots in it, so there’s something for almost everyone in it, and they all intertwine. It’s a little bit like unraveling a ball of string!
Question: This was all written a long time ago. Why has it taken so long to finally publish it?
Anthony Donnelly: Well, like many of my big projects, this was a little too ‘out there’. Nobody has ever written a trilogy of novels, a movie, and a music album as one project before. As a somewhat unknown author, no publisher wanted to take the risk on something this experimental, I doubt they ever will. The internet and ebook publishing has at least allowed me to bring this edition out… I’m just testing the waters, if people like it, perhaps I’ll release the other two novels. Who knows?
Question: This isn’t just a SciFi novel, though, is it?
Anthony Donnelly: No it’s not. That does make finding the right category rather difficult. It has SciFi elements, it has fantasy, contemporary themes, spiritual quotations, theological theories, there are many issues going on in the plots, even sexual abuse. As said, this isn’t your ordinary novel, and the reader is either going think it’s amazing or utter rubbish.
Question: Do you have a favorite part, was a certain part more enjoyable to write?
Anthony Donnelly: The whole thing was enjoyable to write – although it did almost make me go crazy trying to keep up with the timeline, especially when I was channeling some parts. The whole section on the Zfartendrill Maze Network was probably the best bit, though. Oh, and I really like the character of Zog the Destroyer – he’s funny and dangerous!