One of my greatest joys – and curses, at times – are the connections I have made with people through my work as a writer. I believe most writers feel similarly. Connecting with people in personal ways allows a writer to share in something of a primal way. We can get down to the real meat of a meal, chew it over, digest it and then sit back and savor. Sometimes there are folks who can spoil supper, so to speak, but the great majority of them add flavor to what was already turning out to be a feast full of delight.
I use a lot of analogy in my writing (unless it is an article about how many passing yards a quarterback had in a game) because I have always felt the best lessons in my life have been comparable to other tangible events. I use metaphors to create situations that people understand because they are familiar.
One area I have been working on lately is writing relatable material. Giving readers stories that they “get” because they have experienced something similar or can draw from emotionally or spiritually. Life is surely not all happy fairy tales, but by writing things that draws a reader in, I feel it allows them to connect with me on a deeper level. After all, I write not just to entertain, but to gift others with a piece of myself. Some people would probably prefer I just stop sharing, already.
Some of my closest friends, readers, followers (groupies lol) know that one connection I have cherished through the years is the relationship I had with my maternal grandmother. She was a poet, taught country school, published her own work and helped complete several books. She was a trivia master and a crossword puzzle wizard. She taught me a lot about how important histories, especially family ones, are in creating lasting connections. When she passed, I felt like I had lost my muse.
The other day I was reading some poems she had written. I’d read them before, but I noticed some things I’d previously missed. She had inserted some information that only someone close to her would be able to identify and I realized, she did that for me. Not just for me, but to create a connection with her family. Other readers could enjoy the work, the words, but they would not necessarily see the correlation between a fine bit of poetry and the part of her she included just for her loved ones. By writing in this manner, she created a connection that lasts well beyond her life that stretches to infinity.
I set a goal. I decided that not only was she onto something there, but it was just the kind of literary magic I want to create in my work. As I get set to send out to the world the bonus material I have been insisting is coming, I opted to create more connections. I think that those of you who have read my book, “PrinceFall”, will see in the bonus stories and my second book, ” Maelstrom “, some deep, personal additions that strengthen ties between us.
The PrinceFall/KingRise series is about family and history. It’s also about the human condition. Granted, the books are fantasy – but is it pure fantasy? You decide.
Meanwhile, keep looking for connections in your lives. Those threads woven that tie us to each other can be the most incredible gifts we never see with our physical eyes, but feel every moment for the rest of our existence.