“All readers come to fiction as willing accomplices to your lies. Such is the basic goodwill contract made the moment we pick up a work of fiction.”
It seems everyone hates a liar until they pick up a novel and become enablers. Fiction is a giant playground of the imagination where we can be anyone—or anything—we desire to be. How many women demanding the undying faithfulness of their partner love to run away into a tawdry romance novel and the imaginary arms of an incredibly handsome billionaire? How many men touting the virtue of family values and hard work readily become a pirate plundering for treasure to spend on wicked nights in some Caribbean alehouse?
I dare say as many as can find a partner in crime like me willing to take them to those fantasies if only in their mind’s eye. And why not? I do it for the joy of laying out the course for misadventure and finding all the sketchy places where we can get into mischief. Hey, it’s not as much fun going alone.
I recall my younger days hatching some scheme in my head, but never really doing it until I found some other person foolish enough to go along. Oh, wait, that was last week—maybe not so much younger. You know you’re no different. Tequila may talk you into things, but you’re never really listening until you have someone by your side.
The best places are shared places, the best times are shared times, and the best memories are shared memories—and that’s what fiction is! It’s shared stories. That is why I am a writer of so many happy endings.
Then is it true that fiction and fiction writing is self-indulgent? Darn, right it is. So are going to the gym, the barbershop, and the supermarket for that matter. Going to your imagination is just as healthy and necessary—and you don’t even have to drive—you have an Uber with a keyboard and a wicked sense of imagination.
Leave that critical theory formulated crap to couch potatoes. Hey, let’s get into trouble in our book.