Happy Tuesday, Friends!
I’ve got the awesome Teresa Tysinger on the blog with us. She just released her novel, Suddenly Forever, today and y’all are just going to love it. Oh and be sure to have tissues!
Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat with her!
The Power of Fictional Friends
Becoming Emotionally Invested in the Characters We Read and Write
Back in college, I sat in chapel one day waiting for the pastor to invite prayer requests. When the time came, I raised my hand with one in mind. Thankfully, before I was called on it dawned on me that I was about to ask my fellow students to pray for a character in a book I was reading!
Maybe you, too, have come to care for a fictional friend.
For me, this is one of the most powerful draws of books. In addition to taking us to new places and different times, books invite us into the lives of people we otherwise would never know. A few pages into a good book, the people are real, their desires are somehow akin to our own, and we root for them to the end. We squirm when they’re in danger and our hearts swell when they get their happily-ever-after. But, as Dumbledore says to Harry, just because characters live inside our imagination, doesn’t mean they aren’t real!
As an author, I try and keep this experience in mind when I write. But it’s never been as intense for me as when I began writing my second novel, Suddenly Forever, a few months ago. One night lying in bed, out of the blue, the lives of three very vivid characters came to me. I tossed and turned as their faces took shape in my mind. About an hour later, with my iPhone full of notes, I rested my head on my pillow with tears in my eyes thinking about their wounds and hopes. Instantly, I was in deep.
For days, I couldn’t stop thinking about these new characters. I was desperate to write the story so that I could see where God took them. They grieved. They searched for peace. Like many of us, they hoped for something more. I needed to know how things turned out! And so, after several weeks of furious writing, I had the first draft done and could finally breathe a sigh of relief. It was quite the roller coaster.
Today, Suddenly Forever is out in the world. As silly as it may be, I like to think that the main characters—Cora and Luke and their spunky old neighbor Ina—are waiting to meet you. I pray that you’ll become emotionally invested in their story because something about it resonates with you.
I’d bet that you can easily name a few fictional friends who you still care about deeply years later. Leave a comment below and tell me who they are. What about a character makes you care? And, if you could check up on one fictional friend and see how they’re doing now who would it be?
About the Book
For years, best-selling author Cora Bradford has worked tirelessly to tread the unrelenting waves of grief in solitude. That is until a new neighbor moves in down the road and threatens to disrupt what she’s carefully preserved of the life she once knew. Will God ever answer her prayer for peace and calmer waters?
Following a scandal, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Luke Bassett escapes to the one place in the world he’s ever experienced peace—his mother’s cabin on the lake where he spent childhood summers. But the memory of her and the mistakes he made are hardly peaceful. To make matters worse, he gets off to a rocky start with his bitter, but breathtakingly beautiful, neighbor. Was running away from the life he’s always known the biggest mistake of all, or the beginning of something he never knew he wanted?
Spunky, opinionated, and recently widowed Ina McLean is alone for the first time in over ninety years. When Cora and Luke come together to care for their only other neighbor, Ina’s belief in God’s goodness through life’s ups and downs works to restore their hope in learning to live—and love—again.
About the Author
Teresa Tysinger writes charming southern romance inspired by grace. She is a proud member of American Christian Fiction Writers, the Association for Women in Communications, and Religion Communicators Council. A communications professional, wife, and mother transplanted from North Carolina to North Texas, Teresa loves coffee and anything to do with autumn!