Gary Nunn to relaunch acclaimed book The Psychic Tests live on stage

Gary Nunn explores the world of psychics and mediums in his debut book, "The Psychic Tests". Photo: supplied.

By TILEAH DOBSON

Millions of Australians undertook new initiatives during the Covid-19 lockdowns of recent years. Some baked, others sewed, started a new exercise regime or discovered the wonders of plants.

Gary Nunn became an author, releasing his first book.

Nunn was already a successful journalist, having moved to Sydney from London in 2012 and writing not only human-interest features but also news reports, interviews, long-form features and op-eds for newspapers and magazines across Australia.

Having worked for The Guardian in the UK, Nunn moved into freelance journalism and has written for the ABC, The Sydney Morning Herald, Guardian Australia, The Australian Women’s Weekly and is now the editor-at-large at the Sydney Sentinel.

His narrative non-fiction book The Psychic Tests: an Adventure into the World of Believers and Sceptics, published by Pantera Press, was launched in lockdown last year over Zoom.

Next month, Nunn will be relaunching his book at a live event in Sydney, teaming up with some of Australia’s leading psychic mediums for the night at Darlinghurst cocktail bar Gingers.

“Launching over Zoom just isn’t the same – I couldn’t even sell or sign any books at my Zoom launches,” Nunn said.

Having launched his book during lockdown last year, Nunn is hoping the relaunch will give his book the justice it deserves. Photo: Gary Nunn/Facebook.

“I’m so grateful to invite the public to enter the enchanted grotto we’re creating at Gingers, so people can enjoy the opportunity to get their very own psychic reading in one of the venue’s cosy nooks, have their mind read and be wowed by tricks performed personally by our roving mind-reading mentalist magician, Ronald Chow.”

The acclaimed book, described by The Sydney Morning Herald as “an exhilarating ride of scrutiny and flair”, takes an inquisitive look into the captivating world of believers and sceptics.

Nunn credits his sister, Taren, as a major inspiration for the book.

“She was always really into psychics and I used to jibe with her about it! It formed part of her sibling banter. She even dragged me along to see a few when it was her birthday, etc.,” Nunn said.

“I was very sceptical and, to be honest, pretty dismissive of her belief in them. That grew a lot darker in 2015 when our dad died suddenly and Taren sought out mediums to help her process the death and ‘bring him back in the room’. It kind of stopped being funny then. I grew concerned her vulnerability was being exploited for money by grief vultures.

“Taren is the voice of the believer in the book; I’m the sceptic. On the journey, we step into each other’s worlds a bit.”

Another inspiration came from his work as a journalist, after a particular story for The Sydney Morning Herald left an impression on him. The book took him two years to complete, with half the book set in the UK and the other half in Sydney.

When asked if current world issues such as the war in Ukraine pushed people into being more open-minded to psychics, Nunn agreed that chaos often caused people to seek reassurance.

“An upsurge in psychic consultations is the sign of a society that’s unhealthy and ill-at-ease,” Nunn said.

Talented mentalist Ronald Chow will be showcasing his tricks for attendees to enjoy. Photo: Ronald Chow Magic/Facebook.

Nunn believes there is something for sceptics and believers alike in his book, which will “come to life” at the Gingers relaunch.

The event not only includes a Q&A session with Nunn, hosted by DJ Dan Murphy, but attendees will also be treated to psychic mediums giving short readings at discounted prices. Between the psychics, roving mentalist performing tricks and supernatural themed sweets, attendees are set to have a good time.

The relaunch of The Psychic Tests will be held from 6pm Wednesday, 4 May, 2022 at Gingers, Oxford Hotel, 134 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst. Tickets ($20 per person) include a limited number of drinks and nibbles.

Readings by Melanie Obeid and Sharina Star will start at 6 pm and will continue till 9 pm.

To purchase your ticket, visit https://events.humanitix.com/booklaunch.

To learn more about The Psychic Tests, listen to Nunn’s July 2021 Sentinel Speakeasy podcast interview with The Sentinel‘s editor-in-chief Peter Hackney and creative director/podcast producer Travis de Jonk.

Tileah Dobson is the news editor and sub-editor of the Sydney Sentinel.

For further news, features, reviews, interviews, opinion, podcasts and more, visit https://sydneysentinel.com.au. You can also like/follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.