I loved historical fiction growing up. I would go through phases. First it was all things Laura Ingalls Wilder and Lucy Maud Lovelace. Then it was the Revolutionary War with Johnny Tremain and My Brother Sam Is Dead. I moved onto the Civil War and at some point later in my youth the World War II and the Holocaust.
And now I get to introduce my boys and their friends to some of my favorite books as a kid. I told one of the girls in the class about my favorite historical fiction writer, Ann Rinaldi, and she checked out In My Father's House. This week I saw the same girl at lunch and she told me how she had already finished the book and loved it. She wants to read more of Ann Rinaldi's books now. In a world full of fantasy and supernatural books, I love knowing that I helped a girl discover great historical novels that will not only entertain but educate.
That is what I love about fiction. I am always entertained by a good book, but I also learn something from almost every book I read. Whether it is discovering that Prada is a designer label or kite fighting is a competitive event in Afghanistan, my world opens a little wider as I see it through the lens of a character living out their story.
And as I have said before, as a writer, fiction allows me to really tell the truth without worrying about hurting anyone's feelings, having my characters fact check my details or offending anyone with the real struggles of faith and doubt and living in a grey world. I get to explore feelings and experiences without getting caught up in explaining. I can merge and dissect the details while keeping the moment true to its core. I get to take life, remove the facts, and make it real again.
Now that I am writing novels, yes plural, as the characters for a second book have started infiltrating my mind, I am finding myself observing the world around me more. I see the woman standing on the corner and I not only wonder what her story is, I start to write one in my head. I see my son curled up on the couch not feeling well and I begin to describe the scene in my thoughts. I have found myself spending a lot more time moving words around in my head and less time speaking out loud. This once very social introvert is starting to look like an actual introvert.
With all this in mind, I have decided to use Fridays on my blog for fiction. Some Fridays it might be a scene I write and you can finish if you want. Some days it might be a book I want to recommend. I am not sure what Fiction Fridays will look like exactly, but that is the joy of fiction. You get to make it up as you go along.
Oh and since I am volunteering in the library quite a bit this year with different elementary age groups, I would love to know what books did you love as a kid?
What books you wish your kids would read? (Children never seem to want to read the books their parents recommend. Mine will only read something if it was discovered by someone else, a librarian, the person at the children's bookstore in town, the One Great Book Blog lady. Pretty much anyone but mom.)