Why I’m Pitching Someone Else’s Book ~ Outside the Margins with Diana Copland

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Diana Copland OtM



I’ve decided to use my ‘Beyond the Margins’ blog this month to discuss something exciting, and to suggest you buy someone else’s book.

Yep, that’s what I said. I think you should buy someone else’s book. I think you should buy the new reprint of Eric Arvin’s book, ‘The Rest is Illusion’.

First released in September of 2006, The Rest is Illusion is described in one beautiful review: ‘Eric Arvin’s introductory novel, The Rest is Illusion, defies easy classification. The author describes his novel as “magical realism,” in the style of James Purdy. Another, equally apt description may be fiction with a light smattering of wonder. In these turbulent times, a little wonder can be a welcome change.

Ain’t that the truth.

I’ll confess something here: I haven’t read this book yet. I love Eric, and I want to help him publicize the re-release of his book, but I haven’t read it. I will, however, be buying it when I get my next royalties, because of the following excerpt:

Suddenly, a great steel clamp seemed to twist inside of Dashel. He gasped, and his body contorted. The pain was immense. Unrelenting. He fell to his knees, using the chair to steady himself as he grabbed at his gut. He tried to raise himself, but fell with a carpeted thump back on the floor. His arm struck a large stack of papers and they tumbled down over him into an avalanche of disorganization.

On his back, the pain traveling up his entire body, he gasped again. His hands tensed and crumpled some of the papers that had fallen about. Hands drawing up in the pain his father had known. His father’s hands. And his father’s tears of torment flooded from his eyes.

He rolled over onto his stomach, trying to regain footing. Trying to get to the bed. To writhe on a softer pallet. But another sweeping spasm hit him, and out of his mouth came a stream of red. Bright red. Red, like when Wilder had hit him with the ice and snow. Red, like the blood on the dinner table after his father’s first attack. It spread out onto the white sheets of paper, soaking them. He saw the blood pool spread before his eyes.

Realizing then he would not make it to the bed, he rolled over onto his back with his arms held outstretched, his hands still inflected in ineffable anguish. He stared up at the ceiling, his eyes wide in the pain his mouth could not find the strength, nor words, to utter.

But then the room became nebulous. Frosted with a dream-like vapor. The ceiling vanished, or was lifted away, and above was a beautiful blue sky. A veil was lifted and everything else around him evolved, shifted, into a greater use. Colors more vibrant. Life more vivid.

He was flying now, and down below was a great river…

I love words. But more than anything, I love beautiful words. And that excerpt from this novel is a collection of beautiful, evocative words, vivid words. Words that paint a picture so clearly that I can see it, almost feel the pain. Now I have to know what happens to Dashel, and if he’s really flying or if it’s a response to the pain, if his mind has managed to rise above his body. My mother told me a story about when I was born; I was breach, and the doctor had to manually move me into the proper position in the birth canal. The pain of the procedure was unbelievable, and she told me this story about rising above her body, of hovering in a corner of the ceiling and watching while I was delivered. She then remembers her doctor saying, “okay, Bettie. Time to come back.”

Is that what Dashel is experiencing, or is it something else? I NEED to know! And so as soon as I can, I’ll be buying this book.

I hope if you don’t already own it, you will too. Eric is a very special man, and increasing his royalties is the least I can do in face of the lessons about courage he’s taught me, taught all of us. Getting a great story is just a cherry on the sundae.


~Diana Copland


Title: The Rest Is Illusion
Author: Eric Arvin
Publisher: Wilde City
Publication Date: 06/22/2016
Cover Artist:


Magical realism meets coming of age as four Verona College students are thrown together by choice as well as circumstance. When their lives and loves are threatened by blackmail and violence, they respond by using all the means at their disposal—including some they aren’t even aware they possess. But will that be enough to prevent tragedy or even death? Eric Arvin’s first novel is once again available, ready to set your heart racing and your mind reeling.

Note: Second Edition – this is a previously published work.


The Rest Is Illusion on Goodreads
Wilde City
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

About Diana Copland

Diana Copland began writing in the seventh grade, when she shamelessly combined elements of Jane Eyre and Dark Shadowsto produce an overwrought Gothic tale that earned her an A- in creative writing, thanks entirely to the generosity of her teacher. She wrote for pure enjoyment for the next three decades before discovering LiveJournal and a wonderful group of supportive fanfiction writers, who after gifting her with a “”Best New Author”” Award encouraged her to try her hand at original gay fiction.

Born and raised in southern California, Diana moved to the Pacific Northwest after losing a beloved spouse to AIDS in 1995. She lives in eastern Washington with four obnoxious cats, near her two wonderful adult children.

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