Life can be challenging. It can be filled with disappointment, frustration, grief, and fatigue. That seems especially true this year – 2020 has us all feeling weary! With a pandemic causing statewide lock downs, fires causing frantic evacuations, and crazy politics filling the sound waves against the backdrop of endless civil riots and daily protests – egads! Don't we all need an escape?
When I pick up a book by an author I trust, I expect to be taken on a journey that carries me away from here – from the chaos of my real life, into a place where good things happen – even if the escape to that good place is brief – even if that fictional world is filled with its own angst.
No matter the story, I expect to happily settle in for an interesting ride. Will I fall in love with a noble character? Will I love to hate a despicable instigator of drama and chaos? Will I want to scream, "No! Don't do that!" Where will I go and what will I learn? Will my world expand with unexpected knowledge?
Whatever the journey is – I can't wait to begin it. I look forward to meeting new friends and family and I hope that they will stay with me when I finally get to those dreaded words – The End. I know I will read faster and faster as the story progresses. I won't want to put the book down as I increasingly get sucked in. I will want to get to the end so badly to see how it all unfolds – and yet – I won't want the journey to be over – No! I'm not ready to let go yet!
Haven't we all read stories like that? Where we can't stop reading because it feels so good to be a part of the fictional tale that the author has woven in black and white words? These wonderful stories teach us something we didn't know; they bring vicarious new experiences with them; they make us feel enriched for the journey we've been given, and blessed for the friendships we've enjoyed – even if the journey only lasted for a brief fictional moment.
This is why I write. Romance novels and fictional stories provide a distraction from the rat race. I like where a good story can take me. This is true from a writer's perspective and also a reader's perspective. I love when I get a glimpse of a character in my head and an idea for a story that grows into a wonderful journey of love and heartache as fictional people come alive on paper, and events that happen to them feel like they're happening to me. When I walk away from that kind of story – the kind of books that I've written – the characters I leave behind stay with me long after I type – The End.
If I've done a good job with them – if the characters have done a good job speaking through me and coming alive – you'll also walk away from their story with a piece of them still inside of you.
That is why I write fiction. It brings people alive and provides a wonderful escape for you and me.