Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sorry dear, I don't read fiction

The other day I met a lady who had been a professor of journalism at a prestigious Ivy League University. She knew I was an author, so we struck up a conversation. Her first question to me was, “My dear, what is it that you write?” To which I replied, “Fantasy fiction.” Her face contorted a bit before she replied, “Oh, I don’t read fiction. It doesn’t capture my imagination.”

I was dumbfounded, and I must confess, I found her statement to be a bit oxymoronic for what is fiction, especially fantasy, except the outpouring of someone’s imagination. As the conversation progressed she admitted she only read news articles, biographies and the like. I cannot comprehend spending a life without Tolkien or Shelley or Kenyon or the myriad of other fiction writers that have come before.

Finally, our conversation came to close and we exchanged the normal pleasantries. She told me that she was sure my book was rather wonderful, and she was sorry she would never get to read it. Since, as she stated multiple times, she did not read fiction. I wanted to tell her that I was sorry too. Not because she would never read my book, but because she had never read anything she considered to be fiction, and at the age of 81, she probably never would.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

We are family

Families. We all have them. It is part of being human. There are the families we are born into and the family of friends we surround ourselves with. We even have work families, but I am not going to write about any of those.

Instead I want to tell you about my new sisters and brothers. Only one of whom I have met, yet I can tell from talking to the group, they are all talented, intelligent, and funny. But best of all, they have welcomed me with open arms. I am talking about the founder, writers and editors of Fantasy Island Book Publishing. I am now a member of this wonderful family and I could not be more excited.

I have to admit I was a bit scared and intimidated when I started speaking with the other writers in the group. Most of them are published, and I am a newbie at all this. My memories took me back to the beginning of my singing career and being the new kid on the block. The opera world can be extremely cut throat (no pun intended). Just being another singer would automatically place you in the competition category.

So you can imagine how elated and surprised I was to find those in the FIBP family were nothing like that. From editing manuscripts to designing covers, these guys are willing to help each other in any way possible. It is a breath of fresh air, and any fears of I may have had are now banished.

I am still a bit anxious since becoming a published author is uncharted territory for me. However, I know that I am not alone in this journey. My FIBP family will be there to help me along the way and I am lucky to be their new little sister.