Thursday, February 26, 2015

SOTQ Blog: Grand Canyon

“The English novelist J. B. Priestley once said that if he were an American, he would make the final test of whatever men chose to do in art, business, or politics a comparison with the Grand Canyon. He believed that whatever was false and ephemeral would be exposed for what it was when set against that mass of geology and light…”
― Kevin FedarkoThe Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon

These two sentences express a truth so close to my heart it had never occurred to me to express it. But as I prepare to send off my thirteen-years-in-the-making book, I realize I’m holding it to this standard. Are the characters and story line true and worthy enough to give readers the tiniest hint of the feeling of gazing at the Grand Canyon? That awareness that things are much more beautiful and awe-inspiring than you recalled, and why hadn’t you looked up sooner to notice? The feeling that you always want to carry this awareness with you, because life would be emptier without it? That’s what I want people to feel when they close the back cover of my book.

P.S. The Emerald Mile, if you haven’t read it yet, is an amazing mix of historical exploration (first third), politics and hydrotechnology (second third), and adventure (last third) that shouldn’t work but does because of great writing. It passes the Priestley Grand Canyon test for sure. Also, the non-fiction characters just happen to be better than any we fiction writers could invent. 

1 comment:

  1. Perfect comparison. And your 13-year-in-the-making story is true and worthy and beautiful. - Sister Inkpot