“For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time.” Louis L’Amour
As writers we find ourselves immersed in the lives of our characters. At their beck and call, if you will.
For those who read (and write) historical novels, there is nothing like the discovery of the way it felt to live all those years ago…be it mid-twentieth century or the Stone Age.
For those reading (and writing) contemporary novels it is the opportunity to walk in someone else’s shoes. A really great book allows the reader the ability to see life through the eyes of the main characters…a chance to become someone else for a while.
Yes, I write mostly fiction, but can you imagine the lives of great people who lived before us! Those who fought and lived and loved and died to shape the world we live in today.
In studying genealogy I’ve come in contact with it all. The thrill of times past, knowing how some of my ancestors lived through some famed eras. They brought their own history to America from Europe as settlers in a new land. Some were already living on American soil before the arrival of those new pilgrims. Many fought in the American Revolution, the Civil War, the War of 1812; and settled land that has remained in my family for generations. My ancestors had even lived in the time of King Arthur, and one or two had fought in the War of the Roses.
The Great Depression and the World Wars shaped the lived of more recent ancestors. In fact, those particular times had a great deal to do with how my parents and grandparents grew up. And now, sometimes as I write, I hear those details they relived in stories to me…becoming words on my paper. Perhaps, and I think this is a wonderful thing, my muse is my own history.
As one paragraph on wisegeek.com states, “Whether the muse is spiritual or a person of flesh and blood, it is true that the world of the arts is indebted to its muses. Without these inspirational people who have loved and encouraged the artist, a wealth of paintings and music would be missing from the world.”
I am positive this holds true for writers as well,