Fiction, Reader, Television, Writing

The Role of the Storyteller

I watch Harry’s Law, partly because the character Harriett (Harry) Corn is not young and whip thin. She’s a criminal defense lawyer, who also owns the shoe store on the street level of her building, and is feisty as all get out. Sure, the story lines often stray from reality—no, on second thought, they’re probably as real as the scripted shows disguised as reality TV.

Anyway, I’m particularly glad I watched this week. One of the two cases in the episode concerned a British man under threat of extradition for a crime he’d committed twenty years earlier. In the years since, he’d moved to Cincinnati and bought a tea shop in a depressed neighborhood where he entertained his customers with tall tales.

Many of these customers came to court and testified in the shop owner’s behalf, saying how much he’d enriched their lives with his stories. In a moving defense to the judge, one of Harry’s associates illustrated how the man provided a humanitarian service to his community. He pointed out that the shop owner had taken his customers to places they’d never be able to go, given them adventures they’d never experience, made them laugh and given them hope.

I took that to heart. Since I published The Brevity of Roses, a  few people  have insinuated the book was beneath them, it was only a love story, fiction for the masses. Yeah. It’s fiction for real people. I won’t apologize for that. I’m real people. I won’t apologize for that either. I’m proud that I told my story to so many who let me know they liked it—loved it, even—and I’m happy I could transport them out of their life and into my imaginary world for a few hours.

So, I raise my cup to all the storytellers who’ve enriched my life. How small it would be without them. Won’t you join me?

22 thoughts on “The Role of the Storyteller”

  1. Unfortunately the country is full of intellectual snobs who seem to think only the prize winning literature is worth their time. I say, fine with me. I read for entertainment, not to ponder the universe. That’s why I love writers like Jennifer Cruise and Janet Evanovich. I figure the real world is difficult enough without having to add to my worries. Life is too short. I read for enjoyment, I read to escape, I read to feel emotions different from my own. If I wanted to learn something every time I picked up a book, I’d go back to school. 🙂

    And speaking of reviews, don’t you just love the ones that start out with “I don’t usually read this genre but…” and then they give a bad review. WTF? How are you going to give a review on a book in a genre you don’t even like? I don’t get it. If you don’t like the genre, what makes you think you’re going to like this book. It’s just rude.


    1. Woo-hoo! Dana’s on a rant! 😀

      Actually, I do learn something every time I read, maybe not a life-changing truth, but I take away something of value.

      I don’t get those reviews either. I wonder if it’s a result of the availability of so many free books. Some people can’t resist FREE and overload their readers with hundreds of books they would never have paid for. Obviously, some of them don’t even bother to read the description before they grab it, and then they almost seem angry that a book of a genre they don’t like ended up on their reader! Use a little sense, people.


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