Thursday, April 4, 2019

Interview with Author Colin Stanley

The Ultimate Colin Wilson
Watkins Publishing

1: What inspired you to write the book? Well, I didn’t write the book. I am the editor. The existentialist philosopher and novelist Colin Wilson (1931-2013) is the author. In 1985 he selected and edited his own essential reader, published as The Essential Colin Wilson. This contained carefully selected extracts from all his most important books, including The Outsider (1956) and The Occult (1971). In the ensuing 28 years he wrote many more books but never updated his essential reader. As his bibliographer, the author of several students’ guides to his work (including An Evolutionary Leap: Colin Wilson and Psychology), the founder of his archive at the University of Nottingham and convenor of two international Colin Wilson Conferences there, I was in the best possible position to collaborate with four other Wilson experts, including Gary Lachman (author of Beyond the Robot: the life and work of Colin Wilson), to compile an update which, because it adds to the original, we decided to rename The Ultimate Colin Wilson.

2. Who should read it—and why? he book is intended to introduce the work of Colin Wilson—one of the most stimulating and challenging writers and thinkers of our time—to those approaching it for the first time and to provide bite-sized reminders of essential aspects of this work to Wilson’s fans and scholars of which there are many in this country, the USA and throughout the world (having had his work translated into over 30 languages). But the book will also be of interest to those who study existentialism, mysticism, the occult, psychology, criminology and literature—all of which polymath Wilson has written about in depth during his long career.

3: How is it better or different from others in its genre? It is better than the original essential reader because it is expanded to include excerpts from some of Wilson’s important later works including The Books in My Life (1998), The Misfits (1988), Below the Iceberg (1998) and his epic science fantasy novels Spider World (1987). No other publication provides such a comprehensive collection of extracts from all of Wilson’s best work in one volume.

4: What challenges did you overcome to write your book?  Well, of course, the greatest challenge was to read all of Wilson’s 100-plus books written since 1985 to choose the best possible extracts. Fortunately I had help from four other experts: Gary Lachman, Nicolas Tredell (author of Novels to Some Purpose: the fiction of Colin Wilson), Dr Vaughan Rapatahana (author of Wilson as Mystic) and Geoff Ward (compiler of the Wilson website:

5: What lasting messages do you hope your readers are left after consuming your book?  I hope that this will encourage new readers to seek-out the original works—particularly Wilson’s ‘Outsider Cycle’ of books and the corresponding novels—many of which have been, or are in the process of being, reprinted. And I would like existing fans/scholars to re-acquaint themselves with a refreshingly optimistic philosopher whose positive ‘new existentialism’ points the way toward a new stage in the evolution of mankind.

6: What advice do you have for struggling writers? Be positive…believe in your ability. Wilson certainly did!

7: Where do you see the book publishing industry heading? As a publisher myself—I run a small press by the name of Paupers’ Press (—I see a bright future. There will always be a hunger for knowledge, whether that knowledge is conveyed in print or electronically…or both! Embrace technology, embrace the future but do not forget, or write-off, what has for centuries been the main disseminator of knowledge: the printed word!

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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