Growing up I used to pray for something to happen.
I wanted to walk into a closet and end up in another world. I wanted to get a letter that changed everything. I wanted a long lost relative to will me a haunted house. You know, the usual.
I can’t tell you exactly why, but I can venture some educated guesses. I read too many books. I had an overactive imagination. I was an only child and needed to pass time alone. Facing down a thousand orcs seemed safer than facing the pack of mean girls who made my life hell in middle school.
So average, ordinary, overlooked Hazel in Holly Black’s The Darkest Part of the Forest would probably have been a friend of mine. But as Hazel’s imaginary life becomes a reality (as the imaginary does when you live in fairy-infested Fairhold, PA) all I could feel was jealous.
Because nothing is ever really ordinary in fiction and fairy tales.
As soon as I finished this book I had a kind of revelation. As an editor I have lots of rules, guidelines, input, and market research to take under advisement as I work. It’s technical, professional, clinical. Surgical precision makes a good editor, but it sours writing.
I could say I have aspirations to write because I want to earn a living as a writer. Technical. Professional.
But that’s not true.
I want to be a writer because I want to live in a world that’s more magical, more right, more true than the one we’re stuck in, and writing is the only way I know to make the real world a little more fictional.
Until then, me and the Programmer are looking for a place in PA. Maybe we’ll try to find a Fairhold of our own. Remembering to keep grave dirt in our pockets and salt across our thresholds (of course!).