Why do we need escapist fiction now more than ever before? Because despite being bombarded by government rules and regulations, quarantine and lock-downs, (be it all for our own benefit,) our minds will always be free. When times become difficult, we head for good escapist fiction to take us away from the realities of life.

Escapist Fiction

Escapist Fiction

Anchored in the real world, escapist fiction removes us from whatever is going in in our lives – be it problems or the mundane. Any story that is highly descriptive, intriguing, or explosively emotional will do the job. We are taken on a journey, at least for a while. A buffer for the real world and it’s issues. Not so much: Wake up and smell the coffee, as: Close your eyes, feel the sand between your toes and the sun on your face.

When we require a break from the uncertainty of life, escapist fiction leads us to another time and place – in the case of my novels, Greece. As we lose ourselves in this fictional world, time passes without us noticing, we take a break and immerse ourselves in a book.

After everything, how can we work towards a brighter future if we can’t imagine one?

Whatever is going on in the world, our minds are still free to roam. An escapist novel can conjure up a Greek island so that we believe we can feel the balm of suntan lotion on our warm shoulders, smell the cinnamon and lamb aroma of fresh, creamy moussaka and hear the tinkling bouzouki music from a distant beach taverna. As we read, our children’s laughter mingles with the gentle whispers of waves lapping the pale shore metres from our feet. We hear the ice clink against the side of the glass in our long, refreshing cocktails. The children build sandcastles without a quarrelsome word (OK, perhaps that’s pushing things a little far!) And your partner is no longer distracted by whatever it is that’s usually got them gravitating to the smartphone. This is real escapist fiction. The author whisks us away on an experience so removed from the rat race, you forget your suits, your uncomfortable shoes and your stressful commute.

Whilst, the aim of an escapist novel is to entertain, as an author I take my role seriously. One hint of incredulity and the bubble bursts, so research and accuracy is vital.

Done right, escapist fiction is capable of making us laugh out loud, or cry, in public. At the same time, this break from the world it provides us with makes us feel stronger and more able to cope.

Novels that capture our imagination give us permission to step into the hero’s shoes, and be whisked away from the ordinary, the everyday the second we open the book. We slip into an escape capsule between oven cleaning and the school run. A protagonist we’re rooting for delivers us into a loving or exciting situation, we invest ourselves in the characters, care about what happens to them and, and hope against hope that our hero will triumph.

Fiction is an escape from reality, we lose ourselves between the lines.

Patricia Wilson author of Greek Island Escape

Greek Island Escape by Patricia Wilson, published by Zaffre Books 16th April 2020, Paperback Original, eBook and audio £7.99 


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