If you could meet your favorite fictional character, what would you say?
Sadly, I don't think I'll ever have that long-dreamed-of opportunity, but I want to come as close as I can. Last winter, I was asked to write a letter to my favorite character for class. I chose someone who changed my life back when I was still an awkward, introverted elementary school kid: Lucy Pevensie from the Chronicles of Narnia. The experience of writing this letter forced me to look back on the difference that a book series made in my life. It made me realize that the seeds planted back then are what made me into a writer today. If you don't think fiction has power, I beg to differ.
I was eight years old when I opened the boxed Chronicles of Narnia set under our Christmas tree. I wonder if you knew back then how you would change my life. I wonder if you saw a queen of Narnia behind the shell of a shy little girl who read during recess. I wonder how used to all of it you were, and how many other lives you’d turned upside down – or is it right side up?
The others thought I was strange, but I didn’t care. While they were toiling away trying to choose the right outfit or be noticed by the right crowd, I was walking in a world parallel and yet far away – a world of talking beasts and leaping mermaids, where children turn into dragons and the breath of a lion melts stone. On the outside, I was like everyone else. On the inside I became an adventurer who battled giants in the north, gazed up every night at constellations I didn’t recognize and heard the song of the stars.
Thank you for giving me courage. Thank you for teaching me what it means to be valiant and to live with the heart of a lioness. Thank you for showing me the beauty in the ordinary and the tangible in the invisible. Thank you for being my escape. Thank you for teaching me that seven little paperback books can change the world.
I’m an author today because of what I learned from you. My dream is to affect children as you affected me. I want to inspire dreams and Halloween costumes, and second-grade dramas, and plastic sword battles in the living room. I want to see my own books tossed around with the covers falling off and the pages bent from being dog-eared countless times. I want to inspire dreamers, and believers, and doers, and readers. I want to give life to characters who will change others the way you changed me. Thank you.
What would you say to your fictional hero?