One of the writers I follow on Twitter recently posted something along the lines of “I’ll always tap the back of a wardrobe I open. Just in case.” While I read the Narnia books as a kid, they didn’t affect me to that extent. However, plenty of other imaginary worlds have. I’m still waiting for my letter from Hogwarts. Whenever I hear about a new flu virus I’m certain this is Captain Trips. Every now and again I think about how cool it would be to channel the One Power. And I wouldn’t be surprised if I found a paper bag with a bloody t-shirt and a pair of jeans buried in a pile of rocks in New Mexico.
Believing that a made-up world is real, even just a little bit, even though you know it’s silly and irrational to think so, is one of the simple joys of reading.
Making that world for the reader is a daunting task, but one I’m more than willing to undertake. The idea that a reader would find a world that I made up so fully-realized and fascinating that they forget it’s not real, even for a second, even if it’s just in their dreams … well. Humbling and inspiring.