Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; an old proverb but one that seems to stand the test of time. Novel writing is a creative endeavor. We authors pour our hearts and souls onto the pages of our books. But what you see, or in this case read, is not always what it seems.
One of the things I have always loved about art, regardless of form, is its capacity to speak on a multitude of different levels. British musician, and founding member of the band Genesis, Phil Collins is frequently asked the meaning behind his songs. He never answers the question, citing his fear of ruining the experience for the fans. His reasoning is that people who have grown to love the songs have most likely already attached their own meaning to his words and music.
Another great example is Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth, which remains one of my favorite paintings by Andrew. But it was only after years of believing that the portrait was of nothing more than a beautiful young girl lounging in a grassy field while looking back longingly at her cottage that I discovered the truth. Christina, whose full name was Anna Christina Olson, suffered from an incurable neurological disorder known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Her debilitating and progressive loss of muscle function required her to crawl through the field to return home. I was both shocked and intrigued by the actual meaning behind the painting.
My point in writing this blog is to point out that many fiction authors, including my fellow Murder Books bloggers, draw from a deep well of personal and professional experience in order to create what we hope will be books that make a lasting impression. Page turners that entertain, captivate, and speak on some level to the readers. What each reader actually interprets from our novels may not be what we, the authors, fully intended, as it has more to do with each reader’s experiences than our own. The reader of any book will reference their own memories and their own lives when visualizing the story.
My Detective Byron Mysteries address many of the same important and sensitive issues with which society must contend. Creating realistically flawed characters, throwing them into plausible and exciting scenarios, then watching them overcome those issues is at the heart of each Byron novel. Speaking for my Murder Books brethren, if our own experiences speak to you on a personal level then our novels truly have become art, and something we can share.
Until next time!