Friday, August 5, 2011

Guest Post: T.J. Koll, author of Shadows of Wormwood

Today, T.J. Koll, author of Shadows of Wormwood, has stopped in to share a little guest post with us all.  I love this one because it's all about how essential readers are!

In case you missed my review of Shadows of Wormwood, you can check that out HERE.

Author Guest Blog:

Stepping In
By: T.J. Koll

Allow me to be blunt and bold: reading is the key to developing a better understanding of the world and those with whom we share it. Indeed, the “world peace and goodwill” that so often fills the speeches of politicians and beauty pageant contestants can only be accomplished through the sharing of experiences found in fiction and poetry. After all, only in the pages of a book, short story, or piece of poetry can one step into the shoes of another human being without succumbing to the overbearing visuals of television and film. There, amongst the dots and the dashes, people from myriad historical eras, cultures, classes, and countries whisper to one another, tell each other secrets and truths never revealed in face-to-face conversations. There, within those pages, genuine understanding and widespread connection can be found. Readers like all of you, therefore, are far more than book-lovers; you are the emissaries of peace and drivers of human progress.

So perhaps all that is rather heavy-handed, possibly more appropriate for a classroom lecture or philosophy textbook than a guest blog, but your status and role as readers deserves all the profundity I can muster. Far too often, I think we authors actually receive too much attention and too much credit for the work that we do (I can already hear my fellow writers out there objecting), at least in how that attention and credit tend to overshadow the important work you readers accomplish every time you pick up a book, story, or poem. And I realize that few of you really look upon reading as work, especially as it’s often enjoyable and brings about a great deal of personal enrichment. Nevertheless, without you and your willingness to charge into the pages of an unknown text, books and poems and indeed writing itself would be pointless—like decorative pillows or something (Just kidding. Decorative pillow lovers, please don’t send any hate mail). Anyway, my point here is that, even when you read for entertainment, you are participating in humanity; you are helping the world become a better place by opening yourselves up to new people, new ideas, and new points-of-view.

Never forget that. Never forget the truths you find in these textual illusions. Never ignore the potential for growth that simple stories with engaging characters can offer. And never think of yourselves simply as book-lovers.

You can learn more about T.J. and his work on his website:

Thank you SO very much for hanging out with us this week, T.J.  I am really looking forward to your future writing!