Friday, August 31, 2012

The Magical Realism of History

I'm struggling with ambivalence. My eBook is selling everywhere except in Fairhope. I don't get it. I still promote it everywhere I can, including activating my account on a booklovers' site called Goodreads, where I've created a blog and posted the following this morning.

When I revisited Fairhope, the setting for my novel That Was Tomorrow, in my mind, I wanted it to be as I wished it was in 1921, long before I was born. There was something magical about teleporting myself to that time and that particular place, and I hoped to bring readers along.

I grew up in the town in the 1950's, when there were still people around who remembered the halcyon days--I only wish they had still been around to help me fill in the pictures in my mind when I began writing about them. In my childhood and young womanhood, Fairhope's utopian dream was just beginning to fade and I had no way of knowing how much I would miss it the rest of my life. I began writing books with nonfiction, embellished by my own vivid memories, of what the town was like some 50 years before.

I then wanted, through fiction, to explore the magic that happened in Fairhope long before I got there, when the reformers, nonconformists, dreamers and idealists were young and still believed the reality of Fairhope would eventually change the world. These people built a little society on that premise, that the best of people would be borne out in their enclave and, town by town, the rest of the country and eventually the world would see the light and adopt their economic and educational system.
Just as they held their hopes, so did I hope, some 90 years later, that a novel about that magical time would stir excitement about the place and its ideas. The Fairhope of today, it seems, does not need the Fairhope of yesterday. It is populated with those who love the town as it is, a well-manicured, attractive little city with magnificent sunset views and a lot of new houses. Interest in That Was Tomorrow is coming from other places. I hope it will come from lovers of historical novels who want to learn of life in a real-life utopia of hopeful times past.

I also wish for magic. I hope that something happens to ignite interest in That Was Tomorrow in Fairhope. If you'd like to know more, visit my website and see what you think.