“My job is to make things up, and the best way to make things up is to make them out of real things…” — Terry Pratchett
Someone said to me, “It is impossible to write urban fantasy that touches readers at any kind of realistic level. The genre is too wild and fanciful to allow for significance.”
I told him, “I hope life in your icy, boring, little box grows to be less miserable and lonely,” and I walked away glaring.
Most of you already know how I feel about this kind of close-minded literary outlook. I believe every book is a world, and the minds of authors are filled with different realms, waiting to be explored and enriched by readers’ interpretation. If all writers based their worlds in the same reality, the reading universe would be a sad, dreary place.
It is true that great books are made of real life journeys. That is the reason why I subscribe to that philosophy. But unforgettable reading experiences are lived in word-worlds were writers share their special—and very personal—kind of magic.
These thoughts came to mind after I shared the first chapters of my Works in Progress… with a professor and an editor. I’m overjoyed to say that the editor’s reaction was somewhere between a loud reading climax and a vicious “This is not it, right? Give me more, give me, give me, give me!”
The professor, on the other hand, said my tales “Were nothing more than great ideas, corrupted by an imaginative little girl who is depriving an intelligent woman of her opportunity to ascend to greatness.”
Scarred and Blood Grudge develop in very different worlds. Scarred is set in place that is exactly like ours. In Blood Grudge, the things of myth and imagination come out to play, love, and hurt. And both novels-to-be were birthed out of the real womb that is my witchy writer’s mind; a place where my realities, fears, dreams, fantasies, nightmares, hopes… have merged to create the stories I hope touch different people in very real different ways.
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson took me into the terrifying reality of young girls living through the nightmares that are eating disorders and cutting. I’m lucky, lucky, lucky, for I’ve never experienced any of the two. And I’m grateful, grateful, grateful, for Laurie’s writing reality touched my heart and made me feel.
Some expert’s study of body mass index says that according to my height, my ideal weight should be 117 lbs. Well, here is what I have to say to the expert:
And loving every ounce of it
Heavy with thick “unexpected laugh[s]”
And loving that, too
Care to share fictional titles that have touched your souls, my Wicked Luvs?