The Power of Fiction – Authors have their say

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Do authors have a different perspective on the power of fiction than readers? (Readers gave their views last week.)  A number of authors are here with theirs today.

Shirley Patton obtained a PhD at 50 and left academia to write full time. She is the author of The Secrets We Keep.

To transport you into other lives, times and places so that you are transformed, enlightened, entertained, moved, enriched – all or any of these – as a result.

Lael Braday says she grew up poor in ‘podunk Kansas’ and now lives in ‘shoppingville, NC:

Stories tell the truth of emotions, relationships, and the underlying politics of dynamics.

Lynn Goodwin is an author, a book reviewer and teacher at Story Circle Network, and she is an editor, writer, reviewer, and manuscript coach at Writer Advice. Lynn is the author of Talent.

Fiction has the power to transport the mind and transform actions. In addition it can entertain and enlighten.

Bob Rich is from Australia and is a writer and editor with 17 published books. He is the author of the novel Ascending Spiral: Humanity’s Last Chance.

Fiction at its best is the distillation of reality. It can be more powerful than nonfiction, through focusing on emotional reactions. Reading well-written fiction can take a person into someone else’s life and circumstances in a way that movies, and even visiting places and talking with others cannot.

Inge H. Borg was born in Austria but moved to the US in 1965. She is the author of Khamsin: The Devil Wind of the Nile.

To intelligent readers (now, don’t anyone groan!), apart from the escape of every-day life, well researched fiction broadens their horizon – but above all, it should bring them joy, curiosity – and the occasional nightmare if it’s a thriller).

Tony Riches lives in Wales and has written several novels about the lives of the early Tudors. He is the author of Mary – Tudor Princess.

When Lord Reith set up the BBC he said it should ‘inform, educate and entertain’.  I believe the power of fiction is that it does all these in ways which are different for every reader. The best fiction teaches us something about ourselves.

Clearly, fiction is pretty powerful stuff!!

Highlights from our readers: Escape … empathy … travel … risk … significant moments … defeats loneliness … builds understanding … bearing life’s tribulations.

Highlights from our authors: To transform, enlighten, entertain, enrich … tell the truth of emotions and relationships … transport the mind and transform actions … the distillation of reality … joy and curiosity … teach us something about ourselves.

A slightly different perspective, don’t you think?

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

The Power of Fiction

Today I’ve assembled a group of readers’ perspectives on the power of fiction. In a future post, I’ll include comments from readers who are also authors. Please add your thoughts to the discussion!

Mary Ann who is 58 and has lived in different parts of the world: The power of fiction, in my opinion, is that no matter what kind of day I’m having or what other concerns I may have, I can always pick up a book and if the author does a good job, be whisked away into another person’s world. I can vanish for as long as I care to and know that when I have to return to everyday life, my book friends are still waiting.

Anne from Yorkshire, UK reads more than 350 books a yearWithout question it is escape. I live other lives and experience so many things that are not part of my life and which allow me to escape from my own life –not that my own life is at all difficult.

Adam, a Canadian in his mid-thirties: The greatest power of fiction is to push the boundaries of the real to give the reader a chance to imagine. I suspect that creates real opportunities for empathy. It’s also a great diversion, and a way to portray ideal worlds, or worlds that are broken in specific ways.

Wendy who is from the UK and loves historical fiction: An ability to ‘escape’, if only briefly, from the day to day trials and tribulations. In my own case, the past five years have been the most stressful of my life. The hours I spent sitting by my husband’s bedside and then later when I had to come to terms with being alone after 43 years of marriage were only just bearable because I could lose myself in a book. In the case of my love of historical fiction – I am within travelling distance of so many wonderful historical sites and visiting them with my grandchildren is a great source of interest and delight.

Source: https://open.buffer.com/reading-fiction/

Jane who is 75 and lives in Mexico: I think fiction allows us to experience what we have not personally lived, builds understanding, empathy, historical perspective,  gives us pleasure and defeats loneliness.

Paul who is 48 and lives in Dorset: Fiction has the ability to tell the world of significant moments and peoples lives.

Joanne who lives in Essex, UK: Fiction allows the reader to travel to distant places, other time periods, imaginary worlds and all without leaving their own home. It can take your mind off your own troubles, make you laugh, cry and more.

Sarah who lives in California and has been in the tech industry as well as holding an MLIS: Fiction can take more risks because it’s not hinged on real world consequences or rules.

Mary, a 17-year-old from Australia: The power to forgot Earthly struggles once in a while and just read.

Pat who lives in the US and is addicted to books: A place to travel to other countries, eras, worlds (I do read some sci-fi), a way to relax, I love history and books take me back in time.

Escape … empathy … travel … risk … significant moments … defeats loneliness … builds understanding … bearing life’s tribulations. Now that’s powerful!

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.