With spring upon the calendar I find myself reflecting on my life and what led me to actually begin work on my lifetime dream of being a writer of fiction. I find it interesting how many people don’t read fiction because they don’t consider it to be ‘serious’ writing. Composing fiction, while an exercise in imagination and flights of fancy, requires a great deal of research and personal introspection.
Shadow Ballet, my first novel, is the first in a series of stories based where I grew up, and is a tribute to the department where my father served as a detective. It is also a tribute to my second wife, a talented artist who lost her battle with cancer and an expression of my journey through the minefields of grief in search of life. A fictional story based on the facts of a real life, real people, and real emotions.
In my various careers, where my abilities earned me the nickname ‘wordsmith’, I have written thousands of pages of non-fiction. Carefully crafted to clearly and accurately express details, facts, circumstances, situations, and results, my words were used to win court cases, sell products and services, and as technical texts for others to follow. Enjoyable as this might have been, it lacked the emotion, the psychology, the empathy, and satisfaction of drawing characters and characteristics from people I have known and placing them in situations to be resolved.
In the serious vein of putting words on a page in a fictional setting is not to sway, convince, or educate in a specific direction. Fiction is about offering the reader the opportunity to experience emotions and spur the imagination into territory not previously visited, found only in the depths of the reader’s soul.