The idea to write The Sky at Night came to me one night as I was doing what Ben, the neighbour in the story, enjoys doing — lying on a beach towel on my back lawn. For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by aliens and UFOs. This possibly began with my mother, whom the story is dedicated to. She was a big fan of Chariots of the Gods — the book and the documentary — as well as Close Encounters of the Third Kind and many other esoteric and sci-fi titles.
I believe, without a doubt, there are aliens and alien worlds out there. How could there not be? So many stars surrounded by so many planets. I am also a believer in the ancient alien theory, as well as the “conspiracy” theory that aliens are among us now, even working with certain governments. As a matter of fact, if it ever came down to it, I would bet my life on the existence of aliens.
I don’t have much on my bucket list. I’d love to go to Sweden. I’d love to meet Frida from ABBA. But number one on that list is to see a UFO, much as Ben in the story hopes to do. To this end, it isn’t unusual to find me, on a summer night, lying on my back lawn, staring up at the night sky searching for UFOs. It’s actually quite meditative. To date, I’ve seen half a dozen or so satellites and a couple of shooting stars, but nothing in the way of extra-terrestrial vehicles.
However, I don’t intend to give up my search. One day, if I’m on my lawn, eyes skywards, at just the right time, I might just see that UFO. Like Ben and Armand.