Good story telling is a marvellous fascination. As readers we enjoy escaping our mundane lives and entering an entertaining world of the imagination. We want to participate in the mystery, adventure or romance without it affecting our reality. We like being swept off of our feet, thrown some danger in our face and be wooed by a beautiful hero. At the same time, we don’t like being cheated, we don’t like our favourite characters to die and we don’t want to realize the story isn’t real. So we implore authors to fool us. We ask them to lie to us, but we want to be unaware of the lie.
Authors have to be many things besides literary scholar. They have to be a promoter, editor, researcher, fairy godmother and evil stepmother. They have to get you to love their characters, then do something really mean to them before redeeming them from the black pit. They have to get you to love them, hate them, fear them, and then love them again. They have to hook you in, pull you through treacherous waters and place you safely on the shore.
My newest YA novel “Shifters” released through Imajin Publishing has some farfetched ideas like reality shifting and transformation along with some very real threats to our existence such as human cloning and the misuse of natural selection. Of course, it is all speculative, but I wanted to convey these possibilities in a believable way. The characters are just regular people who find themselves in a terrible situation. In this way they find hidden strengths they did not know they had.
It was challenging to portray a science fiction world within a very real one. There isn’t anything to research on such a subject and I’ve always been told to write what I know. So I invented a way to lie to myself by adding an element that eliminated the need for research. I wanted to create four different worlds within the same book so I shift realities. As long as I explained myself, I was off the hook.
Readers take a great risk every time they crack open a book because it might change their life. Like committing to a long term relationship, the last thing we want or expect is betrayal. We give our hearts to another and hope they take good care of it. We give our time and emotional stability to an author when we read their works. Literally we are saying, “Here is my mind, teach me about your world. Here is my heart, break it and make me believe it.”