At the end of every story I read (okay, most stories, not all) I wonder what happens to the characters who don’t feature in the happily-ever-afters. Did that man who delivered the parcel that killed an innocent recipient in a suspense-filled murder mystery realise what was in the package he carried? Did the neighbour who called in a domestic dispute among the protagonists in a family drama have a bad experience that prompted her to call the police right away? Did the rebellious teenaged friend of a protagonist’s daughter find out where her father disappeared after she was born?
It’s the little questions… ones that I want to know about the people in an author’s imaginary – and sometimes not so imaginary – world. I imagine you do too, or you wouldn’t be reading my little ramble here. It is an interesting experiment, delving into the mind of authors one doesn’t know, becoming one of their creations and constructing a conversation in the voice of a fictional character. It’s your mind becoming the mind of a person who only ever lived in another person’s mind… convoluted, right?
It’s also an eye-opener. Nothing brings us closer to understanding a person than pretending to be them… y’know, walk a mile in someone’s shoes and all that jazz. It could be a revolutionary social experiment too – one that leads to a brand new understanding of individuals that make up the social fabric of our convoluted existence. But be warned, in an ideal world, it all goes to plan. Reality, on the other hand, takes us to a mirror and a long, hard, look at ourselves instead of others.
So now we’re at the end of the year, and it was only a few days ago – or so it seemed – that we were ringing in cheer and celebrations for having survived the dreaded 2012 apocalypse. Since we have survived another glorious year, let me congratulate all of you for having made it here, and thank you for taking us with you. In a strange way, you are scripting our journey, much like an author scripts a character into a story… and it gladdens my heart that there is nothing I would want to change about the way we are turning into a presence that cannot be ignored, because we have the most fabulous authors we could have asked for.