Monday, October 23, 2017

Arthur Telling ~ an interview and his novel ~ Yancy Gates: A Dialogue With Self

Arthur Telling

TITLE: “Yancey Gates: A Dialogue With Self”
RELEASE DATE: April 20, 2017
AUTHOR: Arthur Telling
CATEGORIES: Metaphysical/New Age
ISBN: 978-1543007053
IMPRINT: Gaia’s Essence

Arthur Telling, born in San Francisco, California, grew up on the San Francisco peninsula, and presently resides across the bay in Oakland with his wife. A lifelong search for meaning and purpose in life, brought him to nearby Berkeley, with its rich metaphysical environment.  He has authored several novels, and has written numerous stories and articles. His articles have regularly appeared in online conscious lifestyle magazine OM Times ( including the January 2017-C issue “Jane Roberts, the Seth Books: An Overlooked Giant”  and August 2016-B issue “Son of Man May Not Have Been Jesus”. His article “A Different Jesus Message” was published in the November 2011 AMORC online Rosicrucian Digest. His article answering the question “How are the mind and brain related?” appeared in January/February 2008 edition of British Journal Philosophy Now. His website is


Q: Tell me something you would like your readers (fans) to know about you.
A: From an intense study of religion and metaphysics early in my life, I am convinced this world is a mental construct. We create our reality literally, individually, and en-masse.  All my writings serve this single purpose. I write mostly fiction. I have no scholarly credentials on the subject, but any of my fictitious characters do. This works. The story is fiction, the conveyed information is legitimate.

Q: Did you like school when you were a child?
A: I hated school as a child. I daydreamed in classes, sometimes playing classical music on my teeth, to relieve the boredom. I flunked Algebra but loved high school Geometry. The difference was this teacher was dynamic and kept me riveted on otherwise boring theorems. His name was Mr. Tidwell. Loved that guy. “A” in Geometry; really easy.

Q: Favorite color?
A: My favorite color has always been “blue”. My older sister’s color was “green”, and younger sister’s “red”. We never knew why these were our favorite colors, we just knew that they were.  I guess mom and dad must have assigned them to us. It is a secret my parents have taken to the grave. I never asked them about it.


Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: My central idea for every book came from a good handful of big ideas I had while I was younger. I’ve about used them all up now with my most recent book. I’ll have to come up with some new ideas if I want to keep writing. Otherwise the more subtle things come right from my characters, who I allow to go and write their own stories.

Q: Which element of book writing is most difficult for you?
A: Getting started every day is always the hardest thing. Once past that, the text will usually flow quite naturally. A Peet’s Latte helps, a glass of chardonnay is better. Some scenes write themselves. The mechanics of getting characters from one scene to another can be the most difficult.  In Yancey Gates, my new novel, the main character is a writer who reflects on how real life memory and authorship are so alike.  We typically quickly forget the peripherals, the unimportant transitions between events, and in writing we just leave it out entirely. So, our memories of yesterday will read like how a book is written – the peripherals omitted.

Q: Have your characters ever taken the story in a different direction than you had originally planned? Do you have a for instance, for us?
A: My characters always turn the story in a different direction.  It works though, because I fully planned the final state of the main characters at end of the book, and can almost always steer them there. I don’t try to create a structure or outline. If I do, my characters will ignore it and do whatever they want. My present experiences play a major role. In my new book Yancey Gates, I was dealing with some heavy office politics at work while writing the office scenes. It makes the book come more alive because the characters are essentially very real – too real!

Q: How long does it take you to create a novel?
A:  I can write a novel in two to four months, even with limited time. I wrote The Steps in two months while at a temporary job in Palo Alto, during lunch time and for an hour each day at a pub after work. It happened to be a strange job and so is a strange book. It takes place at a software company in Palo Alto. It’s the editing afterwards that take up all the time. Having to read and reread the same book multiple times, it’s a chore.


Q: What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
A: I have a longstanding project, a novel titled “And the Cock Crowed”, an historical novel following the travels of the disciple Peter and the apostle Paul, right when Jesus finishes his ministry. It is controversial, a Gnostic (wisdom-knowledge) message of Peter competing with the Christian Orthodox message of Paul. The Orthodox message wins out, as Paul has the more enticing message – just believe.

Q: Do you have a new book coming out soon? Tell us about it.
A: I won’t have a new book for a while, but do have two previous novels that may be of interest. ”Isaac’s Two Sons” is a kind of stand-alone prequel to my new book Yancey Gates. “Kaitlin’s Message” is a prequel to Isaac. Philosophy student Robert Anderson is hero of the first book. In book two (Isaac) he’s become UC Berkeley professor of philosophy and runs for and wins Berkeley Mayor.  In Yancey (new book), he’s a secondary character, the Governor of California. So, we’re not quite talking sequels, but closely related books.

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?
A: Yes, I do.
My web site is
My publisher’s web site author page is On their page is ordering information for my book from various retail outlets.

Besides the Ravenswood author page, take a look at my book web page which has a more updated and extended book summary.

KEYWORDS: Buddhism, Occult, New Age, Metaphysical, American Indian, World’s Fair, Spiritual, Religion

A spiritual theme in a developing San Francisco World’s Fair gives Planning Department employee Yancey Gates a pathway for awakening the mind.

Yancey Gates seeks enlightenment, while enduring a mundane job plagued with office politics at the San Francisco Planning Department. Opportunity arises when a dynamic new California governor proposes a world’s fair in San Francisco having a spiritual theme.

Yancey’s job in Planning takes on new life as the governor’s plan drops into his lap, and carries him to a Northern California Buddhist monastery where present moment awareness is a way of life, and to a fiery American Indian chieftain whose distrust of the White Man threatens the governor’s plan.

Remaining steadfast as he navigates through challenges and pitfalls, Yancey’s focus stays on the question of his
real purpose, his reason for living, and he brings you, the reader, along a tumultuous journey towards enlightenment.

Excuse me, it’s the doorbell.

“Yes?” A young man, neatly dressed, his partner a woman, also young, she’s pretty, has on a nice dress, “Come in.” The hallway is rather cold and they look harmless.

“I’m Roy, and we are here to give you the good news.” Who let these two in the building? Roy’s eyes have moved over to his woman friend. She’s taking the cue.

“Hi, I’m Jane.” The poor young thing, overly nice and bubbly, a lamb, she is, in a world which has not yet been visited by the brutality. I have a sense of sadness for her already. Roy is there too, naive as a housecat who’s never felt the wind.

The “good news”; I’ve already figured they’re Jesus nuts. But I’ll play along because I’m curious about everything, religion particularly. “Tell me the good news,” I’m hiding a smile, maybe a smirk really I guess. I’m rethinking; “On second thought, don’t;” he was about to speak, I interrupted, he’s surprised. “I mean I already know the line: He died for us, he loves us all, all that.” I’m not trying to be rude, I’ve just heard it enough times and I don’t feel like hearing it now. I feel some sympathy for the pair; I really don’t want to bust their bubble, but there’s little to gain in holding off the inevitable. Have you ever walked into an old folks’ home, people there in the hallways in their wheelchairs, blank stares on their faces, they’re all prettied up like they were in high school a hundred years ago, and their expression tells it all: I did everything right; I went to church, said my prayers, was nice to my neighbor, what happened? Why am I here all alone and rotting until I die? They expected they’d be in Jesus’ hands, raptured before old age, diseases, and failing organs crept in; didn’t happen. I surmise it will be the fate of this pair.

“I’m sorry, we want you to know that Jesus loves you,” Roy says. I’m pondering the predicted response. Problem is, people develop a worldview and it becomes the reality – the only reality, all others wrong. It doesn’t have to be religion, it could be atheists, or English professors, anyone, everyone actually. This pair have picked up the Jesus line and now it’s their sole reason for living, and even when I say I don’t want to hear it they cannot help themselves and must say it.

“Maybe we’ve come at a bad time,” Jane says. She is so polite, it hurts.

“No, not at all; this is a good time; sit down,” I say, showing them to the sofa, I’m pulling up a chair, facing them, they sit down. “Please tell me something I don’t know. I want to learn.” They look perplexed.

Roy and Jane are looking at each other and still seem puzzled. They don’t know the next step, this is a new play for them, I’m altering the storyline, not fitting the expected caricature, it has to be friendly or hostile, they can handle either one of those. “Let me help you; I’ve studied the Bible, I’ve looked at the other religions. If I’m going to fall into the hands of Jesus I want to know where he is and where I’m going, and what will happen when I get there. I don’t like surprises. Do you get my drift?” Roy’s going to have to muster up some ideas he probably hasn’t ever dealt with before; it’s not in the handbook as to what exactly Jesus’ hands are and what we will be feeling upon falling into those hands.

“Jesus loves us, he died for us,” Roy responds. I was afraid of this; he’s not capable of an original thought.

“We can’t yet see through the veil,” Jane says, “we await him on faith.”

“Yes,” Roy says, but I can see they can both see it’s falling flat on my ears; not working, and is time now for my spiel.

“Religion is a belief, beliefs are creations, and created things have both beginning and end. Given this, that they have beginning and end, beliefs cannot be eternal, they can only represent truths underlying a given narrative; can you see that?” I say. Roy is eyeing the door. I think he’s wanting to make a break for it. Worst thing in the world for anyone is to begin doubting his own beliefs. These two kids probably think I’m the devil and I’m tempting them. If they fall into my grip they will lose Jesus and will fall. I can understand this. But maybe I’ll have planted a seed and maybe in their worst of worst times sometime in the future, maybe they will remember, yes, beliefs are not truths and eternal life will never be secured by a belief. For the time they can keep on believing, I wish them luck.

Roy is handing me a newspaper magazine. Awake! Yes, good idea lets wake up, but I won’t say that. They look ready to make that break for the door. Time to move, I’ll allow their escape. “I’ve got things to do, come again,” I say, but I expect I’ll have seen the last of the two. They seem relieved.


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  1. I'm hear today and can discuss anything and answer questions.

  2. Hello, Mr telling,
    How do you define metaphysics & how did you characterize that definition into Yancy Gates life as he did not like his job or even his mundane life style. I enjoyed the book & it kept my interest and I am wondering how he practiced his journey in his everyday life towards gaining more enlightenment

    1. "metaphysics … analyzes the generic traits manifested by existences of any kind" —J. H. Randall

      The metaphysical section of any bookstore, Barnes and Noble included, will contain books written by entities beyond the grave. I think of metaphysics as the drawing of information from sources outside of our known world. This would included dreams and afterlife.

      The journey is advanced by meditation, similarly as Buddhists do, and at all times, keeping the "self" foremost in mind, even when drifting off to sleep. We make progress both in waking and sleeping.

  3. I have read many of your past novel's and articles as well as your ideas on different beliefs. All related to finding a better life in another realm of sort.
    Are your writings about how you put your own beliefs into your characters and do you relate their lives on how you live your life? Always searching for answers.
    Thank you

    1. Yes, they are my own ideas and my own practices. that's the idea of the book, to offer the path that I'm on and have been on for a lifetime. The better life in "another realm" is right here though, there is nowhere to look but at what is in front of our faces. This idea shows up in ancient Master teachings, including those of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas, a non-canonical gospel. "The Kingdom is spread out all over the world but people don't see it", from a Thomas phrase as I recall from memory. these other realms amount to a mere change in focus.


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