When you open a book, you are doing more than folding back the glossy paper covers produced by a printer. You are opening a window that looks out onto the human soul of a real person—the author. That person has wrestled with themselves over every word choice, every turn of a phrase, and the picture they hope to paint for you.
In opening the book, you are starting a conversation with the author. Where the story goes and how it feels is as much the product of the reader as the writer for it is within the imagination of each that the story—the conversation—takes place.
As you enter the world of words that I have fashioned, you bring your thoughts, your moods, your experiences—your life into every scene. Though many people read the same words, your picture is unique.
I have yet to write a story that is not, in some small way, autobiographical. Within the pages, I leave behind a trace of me, someplace I’ve been, some emotion I felt, or some experience I have battled. It is that bit of shared humanity that makes the story speak.
If I am truly successful, the writing will begin to take on a face and a life of its own. I was speaking with an artist friend recently and he told me that he liked my short stories because just when he thought he knew where we were going, we headed off someplace unexpected, as his paintings sometimes do.
I feel that my writing is driven along a storyline by the characters and I’m just along for the ride. I don’t always know where they are going until we get there. So, I like it when comes through for readers as well.
My story Death Rides the Red is currently being narrated on a podcast called Dead Man Talking Forest of Fear. A few of the listeners have said that they can “see” the story. This is the greatest compliment I can imagine. If the reader can see it, then we are talking--sharing a fanciful world. What could be better than people connecting and sharing?