In July I was on a panel with Joanna. We’d never met before and I just happened to sit by her. She’s smart, funny, and prolific. Our meeting was serendipitous in so many ways. Please join me in welcoming Joanna to The Wickeds.
On a recent trip to Savannah, I was surrounded by reminders of John Berendt’s famous book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Shops sold the book in hard and soft cover, the audio version, the DVD of the movie, and trinkets galore. During a tour ride on a trolley, the guide mentioned the book over and over again. Although Savannah’s recorded history begins in 1733, Berendt’s bestseller wasn’t published until 1994, so it’s not like Savannah didn’t exist until John Berendt found it. I visited the city fifty-plus years ago as a child. Back then, we clamored to see the Juliette Gordon Lowe house. During this visit, Juliette’s name was mentioned exactly twice.
I think it’s because John didn’t put Juliette in his book.
We authors create immortality and popularity both when we write. We elevate the mundane, expose the quirky, and publicize the little known. Through the power of story, we change the world. One word at a time.
Sometimes this happens on a personal level. Growing up in a chaotic, alcohol-fueled home, I took solace in reading Jane Eyre. Jane’s quest to get an education and her subsequent success in life inspired me to find a way to go through college without the support of my parents. It’s fair to say that Jane Eyre changed my life. I have a hunch I’m not alone.