July 26, 2013
The Suspension of Disbelief
Today's blog was going to be on the suspension of disbelief - a thing my very literal husband has a great deal of trouble with. You fiction writers know it, that magical reader's mindset that allows you to do all sorts of things that would never happen in real life.
For instance, it amazing how many times people on TV who have never held a gun before manage to kill someone with one shot. Bam, he's a goner! I have the feeling that not only would that be highly unlikely, but the shooter would very possibly be knocked backward and be lucky not to blast his foot off.
Another is the hero who is beaten to a within an inch of his life, but gets right up and back into the fray. Let's face it, most of us sit out the rest of the day if we knock ourselves on the head with the trunk lid. But, we as readers, usually love it. We are suckers for indomitable heroes. Even so, this device is one I personally do not employ in my books. When my hero, Daisy Forrest, gets conked on the head, her first instinct on waking up is to reach for an ice pack and the vodka, the hell with chasing the bad guy.
I was going to go on for quite a bit, but a very funny thing happened while writing this blog. I got the galley of my book! What a thrill! Tom, my husband and greatest fan, experienced a suspension of disbelief moment. He kept looking at the cover and saying, "Look at this. 'Penny Clover Petersen'. This is something!"
I know how he feels. It hasn't really sunk in yet. 238 pages of words written by me that someone thought good enough to publish. Wow! It's humbling and exhilarating and, most of all, unbelievable! I just don't feel like an author, yet. If asked what I do, I do not reply that I write books. My brother-in-law suggested that I start wearing large hats, lots of jewelry, and carrying a small dog wherever I go. I am not sure this would make anyone, including myself, believe I am an author. More likely they would simply believe that I've gone round the bend and I'm channeling Barbara Cartland.
At any rate, I did the final edits this week and the book is soon to go to the printer, review copies will be sent out, and come December will be on sale to any and all who might like a cozy little mystery for Christmas. So the next time someone asks what I do, I'm going to tell them, "I'm a mystery writer". I may not believe it, but it happens to be true.