The Holy Well


229mm X 152mm

400 pages

First published 2007

ISBN: 0980350107

In print & available



From the back cover

Two men: Bren and James -- one born in a thatch-roofed crannog during the late Bronze Age; the other growing up in a working-class suburb of Melbourne during the twentieth century. In their separate times they both discover the same mysterious well -- a holy well -- hidden in the countryside of the Scottish Highlands. And although they remain thousands of years apart, they are drawn together by the wisdom and healing provided by this ancient artifact of the land ... and the glimpses it gives of a higher reality.

In this, his second novel, Colin Macpherson takes the reader on a personal journey through the lives of two people from vastly different eras who are both touched by the same mystical experience.



Comments from the author

Q. As with your previous novel, some of The Holy Well has the ring of truth about it. Is any of it real, or is it all totally fictitious?

A. Obviously, the character of Bren and the others from the pre-historic period are fictitious, but they are embedded in a milieu that I have described, as best I can, on the basis of fact. There is very little that we know about the pre-Celtic peoples of the Highlands, so I've attempted to fill in some of the gaps regarding day-to-day existence with what I think are reasoned possibilities -- based on my researches.

Q. Did that research include visits to particular locations?

A. Oh, yes, and not just visits but living and working in some places. The fundamental geography in the story is real, but I've changed the names of several important locations, and made up the names of early settlements.  I spent a lot of time in a number of areas.

Q. And what about the twentieth-century parts of the story -- all fiction or partly fact?

A. I'm going to be a bit cagey here. All I can say is that novelists commonly base their stories on aspects of their own existence -- events, people, places. The continuum is long, with some writers barely drawing on their personal histories, and others presenting



what is almost an autobiography.  In my case, with this story, many of the contemporary parts were inspired by things I have seen, things I have done.

Q. Despite the novel containing elements of action, drama, romance, and sex, there appears to be an underlying theme of spirituality that pervades the story. Was this your main intent in writing the The Holy Well?

A. The nature of reality, the bases of religions, questions about life and death -- these have always pre-occupied me, as has the idea that maybe we lost important knowledge and understanding about these issues as civilization progressed.  But perhaps the opportunity to discover, or to rediscover, our relationship with the rest of the universe has always been with us -- we just haven't known where to look. Given that as a species we are now standing at the brink of the abyss, some new thinking about such things might be useful. However, the mystical underpinnings of the story evolved as I wrote -- whether it was ever my intent is hard to say; writing is  something of a mystery in itself to me.

Q. From what you've said so far, I have to ask you this: is the Holy Well real -- does such an artifact exist as you describe?

A. On this, I will say no more; but yes, it does exist.