FEEDING THE HUMAN SPIRIT and IMAGINATION
I had barely completed last week’s blog—which focused on True-Story-Real-Life nonfiction—when I recalled a marvelous novel that has continued to feed my spirit and imagination for years. It comes from the genre of fictionalized history (or True Stories that read like fiction). The title is The Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican, first published in 1967 by J. P. Gallagher. Even though it is a true story this book crosses multiple genres from Biography to Social Issues and The Vatican/Christianity. It also has all the hallmarks of a best-selling fictional thriller: espionage, conspiracy, a struggle against evil powers, and undercover work by dark of night. The author presented the story of it all and because of his passion for the real characters and his research into the facts, this novel has inspired the human spirit and imagination around the globe. When a nonfiction (or fiction) book leaves the Reader with “What if I were in that situation” the author has crafted a great piece of work!
Now back to my original idea for today’s blog. I have another favorite category that nurtures my human spirit and that is stories about our animal companions. Yes, these pull on my heart-strings. But that is an excellent marketing tool that authors should not
underestimate. My most recent discovery in this genre is titled: High Trails of High Adventure by Karl Kronfuss. When I saw a promotion that this book is “Snappy satire that meets swashbuckling bravado…and leave you laughing with a new appreciation of the wondrous creature known as The Pug,” I had to take a look. The cover photo opens the “plot” in ways that I could never have imagined—with several moments that lift the human spirit.
Why am I talking about Pet Stories? Publishers Weekly gave us an interesting statistic in January 2015 presenting the fact that Animal Stories rose in sales by 19% in the 2013-14 publishing year. Example: the New York Times Bestseller, A Street Cat Named Bob. This stray cat story was on England’s bestseller lists for 52 consecutive weeks and sold well in 26 countries around the world. You see, there is something almost miraculous about the power of love between humans and animals. The connection lifts our human spirits and peaks our imagination as we personify the thoughts and actions of the animal companions in our lives. Mac The Pug is seen as a “diplomat, a conqueror of all he sees with towering intelligence, athletic prowess and undaunted courage.” Bob, the stray street cat, was just looking for a warm place to sleep when he met the human named James. Both had been living hand-to-mouth for a long time. Then the healing began—in both their lives.
I’m hoping you’ll catch the vision of these very different genres and their authors. The character traits they built into their humans and animals are an excellent way to pull our writing-selves out of the ruts or blockades we face when creating our books. I’m certain you can recall several such novelized histories and/or pet stories that have impacted your life. Pull them out and read them again. Use them as enjoyable lesson plans for excellent story development. And remember—the things you are passionate about have meaning in the lives of a whole lot of other people who don’t have the gift of writing that you do. They can’t express what they see and feel, and hope and dream. You can! And if you need more plot and character development specifics take another look at previous Friday Conversations blogs. They’ve been written to inspire your Writer’s spirit and imagination. ⚓︎
ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.