The title of Vancouverites’ Rene DeFazio and Tamara Veitch’s debut adventure novel, One Great Year would also be a fitting description of the couple’s last 12 months.
The book is an era-spanning love story that’s been described as “Indiana Jones meets Eckhart Tolle,” and has attracted rave reviews around the world, earned honourable mentions at book festivals in New York and London, and has been optioned for a trilogy of Hollywood movies.
“It’s been a life-changing year,” said DeFazio, an experienced TV and film actor. “It’s that whole theory we talk about in the book that you can change your reality by changing your thoughts, and that’s what we set out to do. We are living proof that that works.”
The book spans 13,000 years and several continents, following the lifetime of the two main characters, Marcus, who has past-life memory, and Theron, the love of his many lifetimes, who he pursues throughout the ages.
DeFazio and Veitch’s own love story is less expansive than that of their protagonists, but is a decidedly more modern tale.
The Vancouver artists met on a dating website.
But their coupling, like their foray into literature, wasn’t always a sure thing. When they first began dating, both were still reeling from the aftershocks of recent breakups, and the future of their nascent relationship seemed in jeopardy.
“We thought this wasn’t going to really work. She was a single mom, and I was basically a backpacking, barely working actor,” DeFazio said.
Veitch, a former special education teacher and designer, told herself at the time that DeFazio was “probably not the man I should be falling in love with.” It wasn’t until the two started collaborating on One Great Year that they cemented their relationship status.
“Honestly, we really believe now we were meant to be brought together,” Veitch said. “We’ve created something quite amazing, and our lives have gone from being something that we were trying to create to being something completely magical.”
Combining Veitch’s flair for words with DeFazio’s knack for storytelling and vivid imagination, the two quickly realized just how complimentary their skill sets were. Basing the novel off of screenplay concept DeFazio said he was saving as his “swan song,” he initially questioned what to do with the 15-page treatment.
“‘How do we make this work?’ was the question I posed the universe, and distinctly in my ear I heard ‘Write a book you idiot,’” he said. “The next day we started writing One Great Year.”
Drawing on elements of ancient history, astrology, mysticism, philosophy and mathematics, the novel required a considerable amount of research, taking three and a half years to write. The authors, who used story boards to string together the ambitious narrative, couldn’t help but notice the common thread that kept popping up during the writing period, the ancient concept of the Great Year that serves as the book’s linchpin.
“The Great Year cycle is this idea that the world cycles in approximately 26,000 year cycles, and it’s mentioned in 31 ancient civilization,” said Veitch, who explained that the period also coincides with the Earth rotating on its axis. “It’s all over the world, the idea that our humanity cycles, and it cycles in a consciousness. This word consciousness that’s coming up now in the world, is not a new thing, and they’ve been talking it for thousands and thousands of years.
“That was the big ‘A-ha!’ moment for us: Why isn’t everybody talking about this?” asked DeFazio. “All of a sudden we found this thread between quantum mechanics and ancient knowledge, and it’s all over the world and in every religion.”
The concept has evidently resonated with readers around the globe, with everyone from leading astrologers to swamis in India championing the book, said Veitch. After signing with U.S. publisher Greenleaf Book Group, a new legion of fans awaits the couple after their American launch later this month. The couple are already hard at work on a sequel to One Great Year as well.
“People from every single walk of life have been touched by this book somehow, and we don’t take credit for it. There’s all kinds of knowledge that we just pulled together, we didn’t invent it,” Veitch said. “We aren’t trying to transform anybody or get them to join a cult, but we set our novel in that belief system. If this is how the universe works, this is what it might look like, and holy crap that’s resonating with people.”
DeFazio and Veitch will be at Armchair Books next Saturday (Oct. 12) from 10 a.m. for a meet-and-greet and book signing.
Visit www.onegreatyear.com for more information.