As I write my third book, Rise of Gaia, I've come to appreciate how just much of my personality comes through in my main character, Terran. She’s a weird nature-girl with a great sense of humor and appreciation, and gift, for the art of sarcasm. Or, to be completely honest, she’s me (with an emphasis on the weird and sarcastic).
This revelation had me thinking about the stories I love to read, and reread, and those I love to write. How much of ourselves is laced between the pages and prose of books we read and write? From what I've determined, quite a lot.
To put it simply: a part of ourselves resides in each book we read.
Pieces of who we are rest in the characters we craft and those we love. And beyond this, our longings, those secret wishes we often keep tucked within our hearts, may be reflected in the places and events that provide the backdrop for genres we gravitate toward.
Does this mean that those of us who love reading slasher stories where the serial killer gets away means we’re really sociopaths? Uh. No? Um. Let’s move on. *Cue redirection
When we enter a world brought to life by words strung together in such a way that we see, hear, and feel things embedded within the language, we are utterly transported. If you are like me, you often don’t want to leave that world or say goodbye to the people you’ve met along the way.
Let’s take a moment to consider how powerful a good book is by asking ourselves a few questions...
Does you heart ever break, just a little, when an author kills off a character you have grown to love?
Did rage ever bubble up from within you as a character was slighted or betrayed?
Do you long to walk beside those who live between the pages, just for a day?
What is it about a story that pulled you in and wouldn’t let go?
Books are miraculous things. They give birth to imagination. They connect us through a common appreciation of the stories they tell. And inside the characters, we can find parts of ourselves and live out dreams or fantasies that may seem unattainable in the real world.
Terran, my main character in Rise of Gaia, is a young woman on the brink of adulthood. She is witty and unafraid to be who she is (It has taken me the greater part of my life to reach that point and I certainly wasn’t confident like her when I was a teenager!). Like me, she loves nature. But where we differ is what this means in her life. Terran has a connection I can only dream of possessing. It is magical, one of those things that only exists in stories; at least I think it only resides there. In the book, it is this hidden connection that is a catalyst for a greater understanding of the world Terran lives in and the part she plays in its future. While I have only begun to tackle the excitement and big scenes of action and drama, I’m having a wonderful time infusing my humor, hopes, and dreams into the story. There are obvious pieces of me in the book. When I publish in the spring, I hope you will find parts of yourself within the pages, as well.
Until then, my friends, read. Read and recognize where you lie within the words and worlds. Read and give thanks to the one who brought the adventure to the page.