I believe it was Harriet the Spy who claimed that if she didn’t write it, it didn’t really happen. The writing of the event made it true.
And so it is with me. I must write. It validates my reality, my truths. But unlike the fictional Harriet, I write about events that are not part of my reality. They are real in my imagination.
Writing seems more of a channeling of events, the seeing in my mind of these people — not characters — and finding a way to tell their stories, their truths. I am seeing inward, in a sense, towards their world. Writing fiction creates a parallel world that I have a foot in at all times. The characters wait for me, they are there, suspended in time, until I return to them. I think about them when I am going about my daily business. But there they are. Not frozen in their motions like an episode of the Twilight Zone, but living there, and waiting for my return.
To tell their stories — that is ‘why a book.’