May 2020 Featured Article
Welcome to my world of reading and writing!
It has always been fiction for me. I can escape for hours. The stories become my world at any given moment. As a child it was all about horses and mystery. What a selection about horses I came across while living in England. I’d go to the W.H.Smith store and sit and read the titles and the book blurbs for maybe an hour before I’d choose one—just one per visit. My loves: Black Beauty, The Black Stallion, and Misty of Chincoteague by authors Anna Sewell, Walter Farley, and Marguerite Henry. I still have them all! And of course, The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories by Carolyn Keene.
Fiction for life
As an adult, I did not veer from my love of fiction. An obsession? Possibly. After traveling all over Europe as a tween, the historical element latched onto my mind and pulled me through castles, kingdoms, knights, kings, and wars. I read anything fictional and historical. Now, my imagination lands my characters in historical realms as my fingers fly across the legal pads, letting my pen connect with my brain somewhere in history. I have taken what I love about history and given it the element of fiction. My blog is entitled Connect in Fiction with the subtitle Entertain. Encourage. Educate. That is what I look for in the novels I read and write.
I choose novels that will take me away for a few hours, perhaps with the same entertainment high as movies. Yet, a novel affects me differently than a movie, for I am allowed to visualize the characters and their challenges however my mind chooses. With a movie, someone has taken that freedom away from me and attached his own vision. Do not get me wrong. I love a good movie. But I always think the written word is better. I flow with the words into a world of escape. So, when I write, I make sure the element of entertaining weaves through the whole novel. I want the characters to move through challenges that captivate the reader to use the imagination. Except for the cover, the pictures in the individual’s mind are personal, mixed with the reader’s own worldview. Hopefully, the reader can escape for a few hours through the fictitious world.
This is the spiritual element that I seek in the novels I read and especially that I write. I read secular pieces where I sometimes gleaning something relevant to my spiritual side. At the same time, I avoid anything that is not a clean read. When I accidently grab a book with less than inspiring words or plot choice, I question if it is worth my time when there are so many great Christian novels available.
I was introduced to Christian fiction from a fellow teacher many years ago. I will leave the date to your imagination! The book’s author was Lori Wick. I read everyone of her books. Does anyone remember her knight series? I was entertained and encouraged. Ever since that launch into the Christian Fiction realm, I have strived to limit my furlough outside of it. If gone for too long, I become anxious to lose myself in one of the excellent reads in my constantly growing TBR (to be read) list. My writing always has the element of encouragement through Scripture, Christian life challenges, growth, love, forgiveness, etc. If I am choosing to spend my time reading and writing, why not gain encouragement too.
Not necessarily last, for these words are not in any particular order, is the desire to always learn something new. Historical novels give me that element of education. I have always been a student and still am. If I could, I’d continually be in a university class being taught about history and literature from a scholar or a tired old professor. Always learning. When I lived in England, my father made sure we saw every old house, cemetery, church, and castle. My parents made it fun for us with the stories of real characters who roamed where our footsteps trod.
Now, I read and write historical fiction because I am learning something new while the fictional characters live and work right beside the historical characters. They use their five senses to explore their world, therefore giving me the chance to be there with them. It is different than reading a textbook or nonfiction work. The story is alive!
Now you know why I read and write fiction, whether historical, contemporary, or suspense. I am in it to find entertainment, encouragement, and education.