Power of Fiction
I just finished reading Marlo Schalesky’s latest novel Veil of Fire, and it was one of the most intriguing historical novels I’ve ever read. The story is based on a real event—a fire that swept destroyed six towns and killed more than 400 people in Minnesota in 1894. After the fire, the people of Hinckley rebuilt their town, but a rumor began of a hermit who survived and lived in the hills—a person severely burned, disfigured beyond recognition. It could have been anyone’s mother or father or child, but the identity of the “ghost” remains a mystery.
Marlo decided to revive this almost forgotten legend and ask the question: “Who was the monster in the hills?” The answer is a beautifully written novel filled with mystery and truth.
Why does Marlo write fiction? In her own words…
by Marlo Schalesky
I love a powerfully told story. There’s nothing better than a good movie, or a great book. I love characters who show what truth looks like through lives lived and struggles fought. I love to see through another’s eyes, feel what they feel, experience life in a new and different way. I think we all do. That’s why movies and TV dramas are so popular. Fiction is great entertainment.
But it’s also more. It has the power to change lives, make a difference. By seeing through the eyes of another, by living vicariously through the lives of characters, by encountering the true God even in a made-up plot, I am touched, challenged, changed. I see God in new ways. My vision is broadened, deepened. And I discover truth with new clarity. Fiction lays bare the imperfections of my soul, stirs my doubts and questions, and drives me into the throne room of God. And that’s why I love writing fiction.
Through writing my latest novel, Veil of Fire, I have come to understand more fully that God’s love can’t be measured by my successes and failures. I’ve learned that my life, too, is a story that God is writing. And since the best stories have conflict, disappointments, and plenty of action, I shouldn’t be surprised when my life takes a turn and my faith is challenged once again.
And so I hope that my readers, too, will be changed and challenged through the power of story. I hope they will be encouraged to persevere through difficulties, to press closer to God, to not settle for the easy answers but wrestle with the tough questions of life and faith, to dig deeper with God. And that’s why I write fiction.