I recently finished THE HELP, which I liked (review is here) and have finally started Laura Hillenbrand's well-researched and well-written UNBROKEN. Once again, I'm amazed by the grim World War II battle statistics--men lost, men killed in non-combat plane crashes, the low percentage of men rescued after their planes ditched or crashed in the ocean. Thank goodness, we take a different view of war today.
If you find yourself searching for writers links, you might run across my new blog "Book Bits." It comes out more or less daily with links to book news, contests, interviews and reviews. I see a lot of writing and review links every week anyway, so thought I would started sharing some of them.
As I work on marketing and publicity for my new contemporary fantasy Sarabande, I've been talking (online, mostly) about the reasons I like fantasy. In Sarabande's Journey, I focus on the sense of wonder we feel when we hear beautiful music, see astounding sunsets, and read stories that kindle our imagtinations.
At Malcolm's Round Table, I focus on author Stephen R. Donaldson's viewpoint that most of today's fiction rests on a sense of powerlessness and alienation--with the exception of fantasy. Since my world view is that we are capable of solving the great issues and challenges of the world by primarily transforming ourselves first, I like fantasy for the same reason Donaldson and storyteller Jane Yolen like it. It allows us to see life as it could/should be lived even though the "world out there" tries to tell us otherwise.
Perhaps an all things are possible perspective drew me to read THE HELP. I lived in a white Southern neighborhood that hired black maids during the same era about which Kathryn Stockett's novel is written. Her characters felt powerless to change the status quo. Then, rather than attacking the huge issues of segregation head on, they elected to simply tell their stories. What a beautfiful approach.
That's how many of us as writers find our places in the world. We tell our stories and, while doing so, we transform ourselves in the process.