My eight-year-old son insists Santa Claus doesn’t exist. I told him Santa is real, if he wants him to be. I told him it was his imagination that gives blood to Santa. He doesn’t believe in Santa and thinks adults are foolish for fostering the notion some fat guy can slide down every chimney across the world over the course of a night, with the help of flying reindeer. My daughter, who almost turns six, keeps asking if the Tooth Fairy is alive. She hasn’t lost a tooth yet, but when she finds five bucks under her pillow she may just believe in anything I tell her.
What’s interesting about Santa and other fictitious characters in literature, film, television, theatre, song, or cultural lore, is that there are really hundreds or thousands of characters that we all know of and can identify with in some way. To many of us, we think of Capt. Kirk as being real. Same with Bugs Bunny, Snow White, Batman, and Dora the Explorer. We probably know of more fake personalities than we do real ones.
Think about it. In any given year, from the books your read, the shows you watch, and the movies your see, you may be introduced to a thousand or more “people”, none of whom are real but they exist in our minds and fantasies. Some of these characters stay with us for a lifetime.
We live with modern mythology all around us. We put value in our superheroes, even our villains. We learn about our dark side by watching the drama and misfortune of others unravel before us at a safe distance. We also dream about the good life and extra sensory powers from the fantastic entertainment supplied by creative writers, producers, and illustrators. The fictional world fills the hours of our real days and helps us shape our lives in a way that reality itself cannot.
It’s a special universe where all of these characters can exist in our hearts and minds. Could there ever be a movie that brings different worlds together, such as Bugs Bunny and Batman? Probably not, simply because these two worlds present opposite interpretations of life. Bugs is a care-free, wise-cracking prankster with no responsibilities. Batman has a burden on his shoulders to keep the world safe from itself. In our minds, these worlds can exist side by side, along with countless others, but they couldn’t be merged into one movie or singular place and time.
Authors have an opportunity to create whole new worlds and heroes and moments that can live on beyond their lifetime. What a great power to have—to influence the minds of multiple generations. Being an author is the one thing that’s better than anything I could imagine. To be a creator is the best of all worlds.
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013
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