It’s Sunday check-in time, so be sure to stop by Jen’s blog for a group hug and to see how everyone’s doing with their writing this week.
Our guest here today is Erica Perl, the author of many popular works of fiction for young readers, including Ferocious Fluffity: A Mighty Bitey Class Pet (illustrated by Henry Cole), coming soon from Abrams and The Capybara Conspiracy: A Novel in Three Acts, coming soon from Knopf. Erica’s here today sharing an open letter…to fiction!
How are you? Guessing you look great – you always do! I have a confession to make: I think about you all the time. I know, I know: non-fiction is super hot right now, and I totally get why. Non-fiction helps kids learn about actual circumstances beyond their own and it also validates real experiences they were sure no one else shared. Best of all, it helps them to see the world as full of possibilities, real ones that could actually happen and are supported with back matter and citations and proof. Yep, non-fiction is still packed with all that nutritional oomph but now it’s better-tasting than ever. A non-fiction book is the basis for the hottest show on Broadway, for crying out loud! And have you read any of the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales? Genius! There’s none of that gritty stuff that used to get stuck in your teeth when we were kids, remember that?
And yet… oh, I’m just going to come out and say it. I still love YOU! When I go to the bookstore looking for a new friend, it’s your shelves are my first and foremost destination. Sometimes, I play coy and just admire your jackets, which are often the prettiest in all the land. But even when you have the plainest of wrappers, it’s your inner beauty – your words – that wins me over every time. You always deliver delicious surprises and unexpected developments, even when you swear you are going to be “realistic.” I always defend you, by the way, against those haters that call you “fake” and “made up.” Think about it: Shakespeare and Sophocles could’ve stuck with non-fiction, and then where would we be? Plus, it’s not as if non-fiction has a monopoly on supporting text-based expository writing. I feel I owe it to you because of all you’ve done for me. I mean, you take me to all kinds of new places, some of which are places I thought I already knew, like New York City, or Narnia, or my own heart. And you introduce me to new friends, many of whom are people I didn’t think could possibly exist. Okay, fine, they don’t exist – you are Fiction, after all – but they feel as familiar to me as members of my family.
I know instantly upon meeting them that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. You make me laugh and make me cry, sometimes even on the same page (*cough, cough* Lily and Dunkin), and you make me see the world a little differently every time, in the best possible way.
That’s why I can’t quit you, Fiction. You had me at Once Upon a Time…
Today’s writing prompt (if you’re up for some Sunday extra credit!): Write a love letter to an inanimate object or intangible concept. Go!