Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Person Who Fascinates Me ... and Why: Thirty Day Writing Challenge Day 6

I thought about this topic for some time. Truth is, there are many people who fascinate me, and it would have been fun to write about any of them. I decided to go with an author for this particular post - you know, since it's part of a writing challenge and all, I thought that was appropriate. 

There are a bunch of authors who fascinate me. Let's face it, it's kind of their job, right? An author who isn't fascinating is, well, boring. The list of fascinating authors whom I enjoy to read is lengthy, but because I'm feeling a bit introspective this weekend ... because I've felt just the tiniest bit off for the last couple of days, I chose to write about Sarah Addison Allen

Sarah's first book was published in 2007, but I didn't discover her until several years later. When we lived in North Carolina, a librarian friend introduced Allen to me. They were promoting local (or at least in state) authors, and Sarah hails from Asheville. My most favorite genre has long been southern fiction. I'm pretty sure that started with Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird back in ninth grade. Something about the feel of that book struck a chord that resonated strongly in me, and I've been drawn to it ever since. 

According to Sarah's website, she describes her books as "Southern-fried magic realism." Other people have said her fiction is "a captivating blend of magical realism, heartwarming romance, and small-town sensibility."  It's feel good fiction. It's sweet and surprising. It's magical and uplifting. I don't know where her stories will take me when I first open a book ... but I know without a doubt that I will enjoy the journey, and that I will feel better about life in general once I've read the last sentence. Reading one of her books is like getting a big hug from a friend who really gets me. It's therapy in a way. That's kind of gooey and squishy ... sentimental and touch-feely, I know. I told you earlier, it's been that kind of weekend.

Sarah Addison Allen published four bestsellers in five years. When she took a hiatus, I wondered why. I later found out that she had been diagnosed with late stage breast cancer, and quit writing throughout her treatment.  She is now in remission, and has published two novels since her return to the book world in 2014. 

I've had some back and forth with Sarah via Facebook. She writes these wonderful short stories and posts them every Sunday. She uses #SAAShortShortStorySunday and I frequently share them on my author page. I also share many other things from her page, and she's commented many times. Just recently she had a giveaway. She'd come across a box of 2016 calendars and wanted to send them out. I received her gift in the mail a couple of weeks ago.

Sarah Addison Allen fascinates me because she creates worlds in which I love to fall into. She fascinates me because she has had frightening things happen in her life ... and she has overcome them. She fascinates me because I, too, am an author. Perhaps she fascinates me because she comes from a place I really miss, and reading her books makes me remember why I love it there so much. .