Reading is powerful. Books are powerful. And fiction is far more powerful than often people realize. My sister, Rachel McMillan, has her first published book coming out in January (if you love history, mystery, detectives, think female Sherlocke Holmes, you will LOVE her book – visit http://a-fair-substitute-for-heaven.blogspot.ae/p/all-things-jem-and-merinda.html for more info AND to pre-order!)
One thing I really learned through my sister is the extent to which fiction writers work and research and travel and learn to make their novel as real as possible.
While my sister’s characters are make believe, while it isn’t presently the Edwardian era, while she isn’t a detective herself, Rachel has… travelled, gone through archives, read book upon masterpiece book, and even learned some Italian…all for the sake of historical accuracy!
So when you pick up her book, you’ll not only be entertained, but you will learn about history and social studies and geography and…
That is what I love about fiction. I love that the GOOD authors, the authors WORTH reading and coming back to, THEY have DONE their homework!
And so I am crazy excited about reading Rachel’s novel. Not just because buying your sister’s novel in a bookstore, having her sign it, and then cracking the cover and reading YOUR SISTER’S NOVEL is the coolest thing ever…but also because I am excited to learn more about women’s roles and life in early 20th century Toronto – a city I love. I’m excited to learn about the role of immigration and mysteries and women’s rights in a city I love.
And so I am crazy excited about one day going to Turkey. Especially Istanbul. Because I have been brought there countless times over the last decade thanks to Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak. I have wandered the streets of Istanbul, crossed the streets along the Bosphorus…I have sat in cafes downtown…I have wandered through old buildings across government buildings and into museums.
Many Canadian friends tell me how exciting their first trip to London, England was on account of the many books they had read therein located.
Reading has this amazing way of committing a place to memory, so much so that when we travel there, we hold a special place of it in our hearts. And the amazing thing is that once we arrive, we can compare our memory, our mind’s eye, our idea, with the reality.
If you like travelling, read. If you don’t have the means to travel to a place you’d love to visit, pick up books – fiction – and read historical fiction and mysteries and romance…all set in your desired locale.
You might not be able to transport yourself to early 1900s Toronto, but my sister’s book WILL make you feel as though you are there.
And sometimes, curling up with tea or wine in hand and a really good book, candles lit in the background, is the second best thing to travelling.