I’m so lucky today to be sharing with you all a guest post by author Lili Wilkinson! Her new book The Boundless Sublime is out now.
The Boundless Sublime is one of those books which will make you stop and think. It’s scary and wonderful and a book which I couldn’t put down.
And if you loved this guest post – make sure you check out other stops on the blog tour!
The inspiration behind The Boundless Sublime
Guest Post by Lili Wilkinson
My grandfather Jim had an e-meter in his study. To me, it was a box with two tin cans attached to it with wire. To a canny outsider, it would be evidence of sinister cult activity. To Jim, it was a tool for self-enlightenment and helping others.
As a kid, I didn’t realize that having Scientologist grandparents was unusual. To me, Scientology meant interminable lectures from my grandfather that I zoned out of as soon as he started speaking. Scientology was… boring. I remember the first time I went to a Catholic church service – now that I found bizarre. There was incense and Latin and wafers and everyone seemed to know when to stand up and sit down.
As a non-religious person, I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of belief. I tried praying once, because it seemed to bring Anne Shirley so much comfort in Anne of Green Gables. It didn’t really do anything for me, so I stuck with reading. As a child I devoured Robin Klein’s People Might Hear You, the chilling story of a girl trapped in a restrictive religious community. I also adored Isobelle Carmody’s The Gathering, which explored the ways people can be manipulated to do terrible things in the name of belief.
When I read Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear in 2014, I realized that, despite having Scientologists in my family, there was so much I didn’t know about it. And I wondered – how much of it had my grandfather known about? At the same time, the media was reporting on the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, which made me think even more about the ways in which faith and trust can be manipulated to achieve dark ends.
So obviously I had to write about it. The original idea was much bigger – a trilogy involving underground cities and international conspiracies. But after a discussion with my editors, I realized that the reason why People Might Hear You was so creepy was its setting – a normal suburban house. The idea that there could be a house like that in any street, in any neighbourhood – that was creepy. So the trilogy became a single book, and everything got scaled down and concentrated into one big creepy hot mess.
Let’s Talk About Sects webseries about Lili’s cult research: http://www.liliwilkinson.com.au/lets-talk-about-sects/
Read more about The Boundless Sublime: https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/childrens/young-adult-fiction/The-Boundless-Sublime-Lili-Wilkinson-9781760113360
The Boundless Sublime by Lili Wilkinson is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $19.99, available now
I am weirdly obsessed with cults and just binge-watched a reality/docu-series show called Escaping Polygamy. Even though I grew up in a more religious setting, I can definitely relate to Lili’s fascination with faith and belief. I will definitely be giving this one a go. Good luck!
I’ve heard of that show but not watched any of it. Will add it to the to-watch list!
That’s so interesting to know! Cults are so fascinating, honestly. Although I definitely still want that massive international conspiracy book from Lili 🙂
It would be a great read! It’s so weird – as I read reading this book, three shows which I regularly watch all had episodes revolving around cults.