Fiction: regardless of age, gender, or location, fiction can bring us together, whether it’s books, movies, or TV. Today Martin Wiles talks about some of his favorite fictional experiences — many of which I can relate to!
Thank you for being here today. As Maria sings in The Sound of Music, let’s start at the very beginning. What was your favorite picture book as a child? What did you love about it?
My favorite books as a child were those written by Dr. Seuss. Of his collection, Green Eggs and Ham was my all-time favorite. I think I enjoyed what all kids enjoy about his books. One was the rhyme. When first learning to read, rhyming words make it easier and more enjoyable. Second, who could live without the crazy names he gave to his characters and the pictures drawn to represent them? What other author could get away with making up words, having the books they are in published, and making a killer profit to boot?
I was always trying to figure out what his characters were and whether or not I could find them in the real world!
What was the first book you read that you couldn’t put down?
The first book I can remember reading that I couldn’t put down was The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. This was recommended by a Christian friend, which I thought odd because at the time of writing the book Peck was an atheist. In spite of his disbelief in Christianity, the book was so applicable for Christians. The author provided so much for me to think about and devour that I could hardly keep from turning a page.
I’m going to have to add that to my TBR list. What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?
I suppose the last book I read that held me spellbound was Mercy’s Rain by my good friend, Cindy Sproles. Cindy is a product of the Appalachian Mountains and knows the dialect and customs. Through a simple story of Appalachia, she wove a story about abuse and heartache. Although the dialect was difficult to read at the beginning, once I grew accustomed to it, I breezed through the book.
That was a hard book for me to read, but I can see what her writing appeals to people. She creates some rich settings.
Speaking of settings, if you could be part of any fiction family, which would you pick?
That’s easy, the Waltons from the show, “The Waltons.” This television series, along with “Little House on the Prairie,” was popular when I was a teenager. I don’t know that many of my friends were watching either of these shows, but I loved them both, especially “The Waltons.” I imagined how nice it would be for three generations of family to live in the same house and eke out a living during depressing economic times. Then again, I’ve always had a hankering for the good ‘ol days—whenever they were. My grandfather used to tell me they weren’t so good after all.
I loved the Waltons! My sisters and I watched that growing up. We often pretended our back yard was Walton’s mountain.
If you could visit any fictional place, where would you go?
Walton’s Mountain, of course. The show was set in fictitious Jefferson County, Virginia. I’ve visited the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia and witnessed their beauty. In my mind, I’ve always envisioned myself living in such a place—and living a simple lifestyle while there. And who knows? I might just yet.
Who’s your favorite author?
I would have to say my favorite fictional author is my friend, Ann Tatlock. She has authored a number of books, all of which I could hardly put down until I read the last word. She has a way of describing places and people that lets me see them and also experience the setting. The word that comes to mind when I think of reading one of her books is “devour.” This is what I do when I sit down with one of her books.
I read my first Ann Tatlock book this year and loved it. I’m excited to read more!
So far you’ve mentioned Peck, Sprole, and Tatlock, so I’m curious: what’s your favorite genre?
Although not the most popular genre, my favorite genre of literature is historical fiction. I love fiction, but I also enjoy history. I couldn’t say that about history when I was in school. I didn’t learn to appreciate it until I attended college. Combining fiction and history just make perfect sense and makes for an enjoyable read.
Thank you so much for stopping by today and giving us a look at your reading loves and habit! Now, here’s a little bit about Martin:
Martin Wiles is the founder of Love Lines from God. He is a freelance editor, English teacher, minister, and author who also serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions and as a proof-editor for Courier Publishing. He is the author of six books and has been published in numerous publications. His most recent book, A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapades in a Busy World, was released in December 2019.
A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapades in a Busy World
52 devotions designed to read in either 52 days or 52 weeks. As the title suggests, the devotionals are based around my camping, hiking, and backpacking experiences. At the end of each story, I provide a Bible verse and spiritual application. (Available on Amazon.)
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