LitStaff Pick: Fan Letters to Our Favorites

Dear Those That I Fangirl,

I don’t listen to music when I write. I don’t need the inspiration of a chick flick, period drama or a ‘let’s remake, for the fiftieth time, a story that should never be touched’ film. I don’t need them, they aren’t required. All I need is a good book. No, not just a good book, but a damn good book, the kind of book that leaves you gobsmacked. (I make no apologies for using that word…I love it and think it is used far too infrequently).

So, the book. It can’t be just any book. I can’t satisfactorily escape whilst reading about idealist lawyers, determined accountants, faultless doctors or someone’s recount of tragedies and horrors visited upon the underdog, the young, the frail or depraved because, really, aren’t all our lives depressing enough? Don’t we all suffer through enough tremendous struggles, endless monotony already? Getting to my ‘there’ won’t be accomplished by reading about suffering when my reality is, sometimes, punishment enough.

Give me the unbelievable. Give me magic. Give me surrealism. Give me wizards and gypsies and Gods, both with the little and big ‘g’s. Give me a monster, a zombie, oh please give me a zombie, and a good guy discovering his hidden, mysterious, magical parentage. Give me every Campbell cliche. Give me a town invested by psychotic, hungry vampires, give me a rabid dog trapping a woman and her child in a car. Give me a boy with a scar and his impossible responsibility. Give me a man searching for a fallen star.

Give. Me. Shadow Bloody Moon.

Give them all to me and I will jettison to my ‘there.’ I will be among the wizards, flying on broomsticks, akin to a dead woman watching un-seeable Gods and Goddess fighting in the last good fight. I sing with drunken Highlanders concealing the whereabouts of an English Outlander. I dance at a wizard’s ball and fly next to a not so innocuous bat.

You see, it isn’t the fantasy that takes me to my ‘there.’ It isn’t even the descriptive settings planted next to all those beloved characters.

It is, simply put, the words. They are magic itself. And who can we thank for such intoxicating descriptors, such bespelling prose? I can give you a list. Trust me, I could utterly exhaust you with it. We must honor the sires of the surreal, the makers of illusion. We must thank the writer. They are carvers of the most precious sculptures. They are God Creators of universes we could not possibly fathom without their help. They are professors of wit and wisdom and all things incredulous. What actor can transform you, deposit you in that way? What song has ever been sung that could twist your mind so that you find yourself in the Middle of the Earth, in the Neverwhere of impossibility? Cobain was a genius, but he was still, at his core, only a musician.

So to my list I say, ‘Cheers. Thank you and please don’t ever stop.’

All my appreciation,

T.S. Tate

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