Why Reading Fiction Matters

I would like to start with a quote from Nobel Prize Winner of Literature Nadine Gordimer.

                    – “Nothing factual that I write or say will be as truthful as my fiction.” 

SO WHY READ FICTION when there is so much to learn from history, studying human behavior or uncharted territories of science. Nonfiction consists of facts, facts that are limited. Fiction has none of these limitations. Moreover, certain kinds of facts simply do not exist. What are the facts for fear? Heartbreak? Loneliness? The facts on what it’s like to be a soldier or teenager or maybe a serial killer. What it’s like to fall in love or commit a murder.

First, let me talk to those who think you should only read nonfiction, and who think reading fiction is a waste of their time. Here are some of the benefits of reading fiction.

  1. Creates Empathy for others
  2. Among the very best way to relieve stress
  3. Reading fiction before bed, you will sleep better
  4. Helps you understand others mental states, crucial skill in developing relationships
  5. Reading fiction makes us more inclusive, tolerant an open-minded.
  6. It builds the readers vocabulary.

Now, back to fiction, it has a power no other form of communication does, the power to insert you fully and completely in someone else’s mind and good fiction runs deep into the realms of psychology and philosophy.

In my case, as a writer, I found a way to combine the benefits of both non-fiction and fiction, because I chose to write fiction based on fact. In The Serpent’s Disciple, accept for the characters and plot everything else is based on fact.

In doing research for the next book, I came across a group I’d never heard of and decided it was perfect to develop a story around and wasn’t disappointed as I continued to read more. It seemed impossible that what I was learning wasn’t made up and a world of untapped knowledge of things I never knew were being revealed to me.

It’s important to realize, we need to read a mix of fiction and nonfiction. So back to the discussion, why waste your time reading fiction. I think it’s evident; no one can exist only on facts that describes    a robot. We are human beings with a mind for learning and an imagination for creating and without both, we can never truly understand life.

So the next time you see somebody reading a book of fiction realize they are learning things you can never be taught by only reading non-fiction. The definition of Fiction: Something made up, but ultimately deals in truth.

Getting the next book ready for publication and again it is fiction based on fact. Some of the same characters return and the plot once again is fictional, but the events, places and groups mentioned in the book do exist.

I already have the idea for the third book, but before  that I seem to have this little voice telling me to write a book of non-fiction about a topic many people would be interested in learning a little more about. But, the little voice inside my head hasn’t told me yet what the topic should be. I know it will come to me, but I’m open for suggestions!

You can find my novel The Serpent’s Disciple on Amazon here



Look forward to your comments and until the next blog post.


Excerpt from “The Serpent’s Disciple”

September 28, 1978 The Papal Palace
Cardinal Jean Villot, Vatican secretary of state, had gotten hold of the list of appointments, resignations to be asked for, and transfers Pope John Paul I planned on putting into motion the next morning. There was one common denominator that linked each of the men about to be replaced … it was Freemasonry.
Villot was aware of each man’s affiliation to the Masons; more important, so was the Pope. It was the reason the Pope would strip these men of their power. Pope John Paul I had evidence indicating that within the Vatican City State, there were over one hundred Masons ranging from priests to cardinals. The Pope was further preoccupied with an illegal Masonic Lodge called Propaganda Due (P2), which had infiltrated far beyond even the Vatican in its search for wealth and power.
The fact that it had penetrated the Vatican walls and had converted priests, bishops, and even cardinals made P2 anathema, a formal ecclesiastical curse accompanied by excommunication.
The changes the Pope was intending on making would create, by any standards a dramatic reshuffle within the Vatican. It would set the church in a new direction, directions that Villot and others on the list considered dangerous for their movement.
On the morning of September 29, 1978 at 4:45 a.m., Sister Vicenza entered the papal apartments to bring the Holy Father his morning tea, only to find the lifeless body of the Pope. Fifteen minutes later at 5:00 a.m. it was reported that Cardinal Villot confirmed the death of the Pope. Only thirty-three days after his election, Pope John Paul I was dead.
Sister Vicenza gave two conflicting reports concerning the state in which she first found Pope John Paul I. According to a group of French priests that same morning, it was “in his bathroom” that she found the Holy Father dead, still in his papal robes. Later, after Cardinal Villot was present, she reported that upon entering the room she found the Pope sitting up in bed “with an expression of agony” before he died.
This small detail is significant. If it was true that Sister Vicenza found the Holy Father dead in the bathroom still in his papal robes, it could be construed that he died shortly after his “toast” with Cardinal Villot, the night of September 28, 1978.
That evening Villot hastily arranged for the embalming to be performed, a procedure as unusual as it was illegal, Villot also insisted that no blood was to be drained from the body, and neither were any of the organs to be removed. No official death certificate has ever been issued. No autopsy ever performed. Cause of death: Unknown.

To watch the book trailer go to http://www.deborahstevensauthor.com