Marilyn Holdsworth

Broken Pieces - Rachel Thompson

Saturday, August 23, 2014

@KirstenArcadio on the Philosophy of #Love - #AmReading #Thriller

The philosophy of love

In my new adventure thriller, Split Symmetry, Dr Elena Lewis is accompanied on her hike by a man with a dark secret. He is as drawn to her as she is to him, a fact neither of them will accept, not least because he is a former patient of her psychotherapy practice.

Whenever I sit down to write, I always have a big question in my mind. Sometimes it’s about my purpose in life. Why are we here? Other times it’s about death? What happens next? Where do we go when we die? But when writing this novel, I thought a lot about love.

What is love, connection, spirituality? Where does the life of the soul sit underneath these and how does it all stack up under pressure? Do we always make the right choices and what happens if we don’t?

This last was a question I posed in Split Symmetry, and it stemmed partly from my need to turn everything I think I know about life upside down and apply a different viewpoint to it.

My aim is for the reader to draw their own conclusions. No answers provided, just questions, and with a bit of luck a fast paced page turner to take them into a different world for a while. If they so wish.

A few concepts I’m interested in:
  • Entanglement – the idea that we are all connected
  • Choice – how we determine our fate with even the tiniest choices (or do we?)
  • Passion – how this drives us, sometimes even to self-destruction


To quote James in Split Symmetry, ‘This was how all his relationships seemed to go: forever entangled, never free, until death washed it all away and started again.’ I’m interested in the idea of quantum entanglement, which looks at pairs of particles that become linked to each other through entanglement.

As a teenager I was fascinated by John Donne’s famous ‘compass conceit’ in his poem ‘A Valediction: forbidden mourning’ and the idea of people being joined spiritually as well as physically. The idea that a spiritual bond, once made, could not be broken, is a compelling one.

‘If they be two, they are two so
As stiffe twin compasses are two,
Thy soule the fixt foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if the’other doe.’

To take it one step further, and to dovetail the questions of reality and identity, could we all be linked in a metaphysical sense?

Choice and free will

If you had your life again, would you do things differently?

Are we born to fulfil a particular destiny? Or is there no fate, no luck or misfortune, and no predestined course of events for us to follow, just a chain reaction based on each decision we make as we stumble forwards through life?

In Split Symmetry, I examine the ideas of determinism and free will in a fictional context. My inspiration for this novel came from reading about advances in quantum mechanics which posed the idea of a multiverse. In other words, there are endless, eternal permutations of our universe – alternate universes – in which the decisions we might have made come to bear. In those realities, our alternate decisions lead to alternate lives. Therefore causation and fatalism are also themes I allude to in my book.


Do we always make the right choices when under the influence of passion? Sometimes it can be a force for the good, energising us, breaking through the destruction of apathy, but sometimes it can a destructive force in itself. Where do you draw the line? Must love always be accompanied by passion? Elena finds herself in a quandary when she sees the passion lurking below the surface of James’ impassive exterior, but finds the dark side of it has destroyed him in the past.

Is love a combination of these three elements? Or is it something else again, something which perhaps crosses metaphysical boundaries?

Set in the near future, Split Symmetry [] is the story of what happens when a hike in the notorious Gran Sasso mountain range in central Italy descends into chaos on the same night that scientists decide to work on a clandestine experiment in a lab beneath the mountain. Dr Elena Lewis must work around the clock to find members of her group who have become lost on the mountain, but just as she is close to finding them, the region is rocked by one of the worst earthquakes central Italy has ever known.

Author bio:

Kirsten Arcadio has written three novels, each with a different speculative theme. Her first novel, Borderliners, was published in February of this year with the second in the series, Split Symmetry, to be published in July. The third, WorldCult, is due out just before Christmas. She’s also a part-time poet, digital communications nerd and frazzled head of an Anglo-Italian family.

After working for over fifteen years in digital communications, she returned to her twin first loves, literature and philosophy, in 2011. She’s passionate about the big questions in life and how these can be explored using speculative fiction.

When she’s not writing she’s obsessing about Sci Fi or Nordic noir. She loves all things Italian, including her husband, and she once taught English in the Italian senate.


Split Symmetry

Lost meets The Poseidon Adventure with a hint of Sliding Doors!

It's 2015 in the notorious Gran Sasso mountain range of central Italy.
Quantum physicists in a lab beneath the ground begin an illegal experiment. 
A landslide hits and a hiking group is stranded. 

Every decision, every step of the way...changes reality. 

Book #2 of the best-selling Borderliners series, this other-worldly adventure will keep you turning the pages to the very end!
 'A novel about what it is to survive and endure, what defines us, how it is to be ruled by fear, to be a slave to the terror of nature and what it feels like to love.' Five star customer review. 

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Speculative thriller
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Kirsten Arcadio through Facebook & Twitter



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