In July I was on a panel with Joanna. We’d never met before and I just happened to sit by her. She’s smart, funny, and prolific. Our meeting was serendipitous in so many ways. Please join me in welcoming Joanna to The Wickeds.
I think it’s because John didn’t put Juliette in his book.
We authors create immortality and popularity both when we write. We elevate the mundane, expose the quirky, and publicize the little known. Through the power of story, we change the world. One word at a time.
Sometimes this happens on a personal level. Growing up in a chaotic, alcohol-fueled home, I took solace in reading Jane Eyre. Jane’s quest to get an education and her subsequent success in life inspired me to find a way to go through college without the support of my parents. It’s fair to say that Jane Eyre changed my life. I have a hunch I’m not alone.
Charlotte Brontë’s classic changed my life for a second time when I won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Literary Excellence with my mystery Death of a Schoolgirl, a continuation of Jane Eyre’s story.
As a matter of fact, I bet that every book ever written has changed someone’s life. Maybe the work served as a happy escape from boredom. Maybe it inspired the reader to look up a new fact. Maybe the author’s viewpoint gave people a new point of view. At the very least, we can be sure the book changed the author’s life, because time spent writing could have been used some other way.
I once met the mother of a young man who’d killed himself. She made it her life’s mission to go to high schools and tell the students how disgusting his body looked after he died. “These kids romanticize death. I want them to know the facts.”
Not surprisingly, she saved a lot of lives.
I hold no illusions that Grand, Death, Auto will save lives. I’m not that egotistical. I do hope it will spark discussion. I expect that some mystery readers will *ding* me on Amazon for even attempting such a dark subject. That’s okay. I really want my work to make a difference. And I’m willing to settle for just a small one.
Readers: How about you? Do you consider making a difference when you write?