Travellin' Man

S.L. Carpenter

Being an author or a reader is amazing in so many ways.
As an author, you can create new worlds, new people, new places, and fun ways to make everyone perfect, with lives full of adventure, romance drama, and food. That would be food that doesn’t make you fat, of course. We can eat all the cookies, cakes, cinnamon rolls, and other wonderfully terrible things and never gain an ounce or feel the guilt.
Basically, we writers get to throw reality out the window, forget all our problems, and escape into our minds. Which, for someone like me, can be pretty darn scary.
If you’re a reader, you get to use your imagination and go to wherever the story takes you. While everyone sees the same words, no one sees the same characters in their imaginations. One of the amazing things about the mind’s-eye is how unique it is to each person—a beautiful, blonde heroine can be imagined thousands of times by readers and never look the same. And that handsome hero? Same goes. We have complete and total freedom to create an image that fits specifically in our own imaginations.
If you’re doubting this, just go and find some discussions about books-to-movies. Was Clark Gable the ideal Rhett Butler in “Gone with the Wind?” Not to a lot of Margaret Mitchell’s readers, who had other ideas. Same thing for “Interview with a Vampire.” When Tom Cruise was announced as having been cast as Lestat—well, things got ugly. Just ask Anne Rice.
It’s not only about putting one’s individual choice of faces on characters, sometimes the things they say, and do, can remind us of lost loves, forgotten places and make our hearts go pitter-patter—especially when those deep, passionate kisses start showing up…even if she doesn’t deserve him because he is too good for her, and he’s shattered to find out she was fooling around with her best friend’s cousin.

Read the entire article in the May 2019 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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