It sounds like the punchline to a bad office joke, doesn't it?
The long-suffering secretary finally snaps and tells her overbearing boss where to get off; he fires her on the spot; she starts packing up her desk while he stomps into his office to make it official; finally, after about five minutes of silence, he looks sheepishly out the door and says...
Only one problem with that. Well, three. The boss in question is female, she's never been anything but awesome to me, and the termination was my idea.
Two weeks from today, I leave the world of high finance, my bread and butter for the last twenty-fifth of a century, to embark upon a journey of self-discovery through the medium of the written word. For inspiration, I shall draw on the creative powers of my own tap into the human collective unconscious, along with one of the greatest phenomena in contemporary popular fiction.
In plain English: I just quit my job. I've been working at a bank for the last four years, and I've finally saved up enough money that I can afford to take some time off and focus on my writing. Due to both a wildly active imagination and a love of (among many others) the Harry Potter books, my forte is fantasy fiction, with a special focus on families.
If you're reading this on the day it's posted, you probably know that, because you've probably come here because I posted a link on my Facebook page or one of my fan fiction sites. If you're reading this at some future date, you may not know that. Or rather you didn't, but now you do.
What else will my hypothetical future readers need to know that they don't yet? Well, to start with, I'm Anne B. Walsh of Pittsburgh, PA, Anne with an E but never Annie. I am somewhere in my mid-to-late twenties, but prefer to act my shoe size. I have one roommate, named Krystal, and two cats named Poppy and Sesame have us.
(If you quibbled with the grammar of that last sentence, you have clearly never lived with cats. )
When I'm not writing, I love to read, sing, cook, eat, and drive the cats insane with the Laser Pointer of Doom. My three siblings, two parents, and one grandparent live about two hours away from here. And, when I was twelve years old, I found a list that changed my life.
Even at twelve, I knew words were going to be my future. So when I found a list called "Pointers for Young Adult Writers," I grabbed at it eagerly. Imagine my shock when the very first item on the list read as follows:
"1. Get rid of the parents. Be especially certain to kill off or otherwise remove the parent of the same gender as your hero or heroine. You want them to have lots of adventures, and you can't do that with parents hanging around and nagging about homework and bedtime."
Hanging around and nagging? Is that really all parents do? Well, take a good look at children's books, fairy tales, Disney movies, etc. How many of them feature parents who are either absent, ridiculous, or the enemy? It makes for good comedy, sure, but is it really the message we want to send?
From the day I read that list, I have made it my mission in life to prove that first item wrong. So here's to enjoyable and well-crafted fantasies with something for everyone, in which children grow up and have adventures not in spite of their parents but because of them and alongside them.
Maybe they're impossible, but I'm sure going to have fun trying to write them anyway!