I received an encouraging and sympathetic email recently from the woman who forms the character basis for “Mrs. Hall-Surrey” – and had laughed aloud when she first “spotted” herself (and her husband) on the pages in Frontiers. (“The little so and so! Darling, he’s written about us!”) I wrote her back that I was relieved I had essentially finished Distances before my uncle’s death and my Mom’s terminal cancer diagnosis. Had I not, I don’t know I would have been able to summon up the mental strength to have done so anytime soon.
Naturally I don’t want to give away too much of the storyline. However, as I’d written here a couple of weeks ago, some of what’s in it is shockingly prescient and unexpectedly relevant to where I find myself in my life right now. Frankly, I can’t believe the number of similar touchpoints.
With publication just days away, time again for the dedication.
Once more a novel dedication emanates from loss and death.
That is the reality of being an author. Facing adversity and trying to cope with sadness – including the ultimate loss – doesn’t automatically make you a better writer. What I firmly do believe, though, is it helps further fill out your own humanity and lend greater authenticity to what you write.
One goal of a novelist has to be to turn all experiences into something worth reading. Unsurprisingly I far more enjoy fun and romance; I hate writing about death. However, if you are going to write about the joys of life, you simply can’t avoid truly confronting death or you are ignoring the plain fact that life’s joys mean little if one doesn’t nod to the reality that life’s joys are, in the end, transitory.
Hope you are having a good day (and enjoying life), wherever you are in the world. 🙂