My little sister says when I was in high school she could always find me holed up somewhere inside or outside the house with an apple in one hand and a book in the other.
I wasn’t interested in television. I wasn’t interested in magazines. I wanted a book on life that was full of adventure, far off places and made me wonder what was going to happen next. I wanted endings that made me feel a smug sense of happiness that balance and justice could be achieved in life, even if it wasn’t what I expected. I read all the books in my parent’s bookshelves. Even the ones my mother told me not to read like “Forever Amber”. Remember that one? It was scandalous when I was a teenager although I read it again as an adult a few years back and it must have been the forbidden quality of it when I was a teenager that made me think it was so good.
My life was shaped by books but also by the choices in books. I looked for a book that would take me away, but not too far. I wanted to be able to believe in the fiction I read and hoped that the essential goodness, honesty and integrity I expected the main characters to have would carry into life. The romance formula wore thin pretty quickly, although I still enjoy Jane Austin. My books had to be exciting and the good guys should always win, even if the victory was bittersweet. I read westerns, action adventure books, romances, science fiction, mysteries, historical novels, sweeping sagas, non-fiction books about travel, science and sports, books about animals, travel logs and humor. The librarian in my small town recommended books for me but I quickly out grew her suggestions. I did a book report on “Hawaii” in my junior year in high school and was chastised in front of my classmates by my teacher for reading porn. That didn’t stop me, although the whispers in the hall about me hurt my feelings. In college I found that classes were too slow for me and I just wanted the professors to give me a reading list and I would get back to them later. That didn’t work back then, so I ended up just jumping off and heading out to adventure.
My grandmother told me forty years ago that good writers had to live a long time before they can write engaging fiction. So, grandma, wherever you are, am I old enough yet?
Causes Linda Hunter Supports