Friday, November 6, 2009

Something About Reilly

Whenever I do a Sneak Peak Read of my novel Finding Tir Na Nog I always begin the discussion by asking the group, "Who loves to read?" Invariably there are one or two individuals, usually youth but sometimes adults, who raise their hand. Then I look them in the eye and pose this lighthearted but firm and confident challenge: "Tell you what, at the end of the presentation, I want you to be completely honest and let me know if something has changed your perspective." The adults smile and nod; the youth shrug their shoulders and scowl. And then something remarkable happens. Something about Reilly. He (the fifteen year old protagonist) jumps out of the pages--through my voice as I read excerpts--and into the hearts of those skeptical non-readers! Without fail, Reilly carries them away to a place of imagination which infuses a desire in them to not only want to pick up the book and read it, but more importantly ignites a real connection of desire within themselves. A desire to read...a desire to imagine...a desire to explore new ideas...a desire to let go of preconceived notions about themselves. There is a visible shift--perhaps even an awakening--in those people who profess to not enjoy reading as Reilly weaves his way into their souls. Yes, of course I'm anxious to have the book published but it's not for all the reasons you might think. It's because I know there's something about Reilly that can make a profound difference in the lives of all who read his story with an open heart and mind.