My name is S. O’Duinn Magee, and I’m a novelist.
The bottom line for me as a writer is that life is all about stories. Stories are how we learn to behave and converse and relate to other people and figure out where we fit in the grand scheme of things. Most of all, stories give us models for living. They provide us with role models, I guess you might say.
There’ve been civilizations that didn’t have fire or the wheel, but there’s never been a civilization that didn’t have stories. Actually, there’s a lot of archeo-paleo-controversy about early civilizations that did or did not control fire and/or invent the wheel. There’s a raging dispute, for example, about whether the Mayans engineered their huge stone edifices without wheeled carts. But there’s no controversy about the importance of stories and whether early peoples had them.
When I say stories I’m not just talking about fairy tales here, or fables or folk tales. I mean, think about it. History’s a story. The fossil record’s a story. Your family tree’s a story. Your diary’s a story, and so is your Facebook page.
Your High School Prom’s a story, too (for a particularly virulent version, check out Carrie by Stephen King). Or if you’re way past high school and living in the moment, your Senior Center Follies is a story (who can forget Memento Mori by Muriel Spark?)
And what about the party-video that your brother posted on YouTube even after you told him you’d rip out his heart if he didn’t destroy it. Hmm. Actually that’s two stories, isn’t it? The wild party where you ripped off your shirt and your relationship with your dweeby brother, I mean.
Well anyway, my novels are set mostly in Florida (Volusia County, to be precise), I tell them in my own voice, and I try very hard to make them humorous. Because we need more laughter in the world, not more pain and violence and nastiness.
And that gets me back to stories, and storytelling, and the kinds of stories we love, and the crucial importance of all of this in our everyday lives.
My name is S. O’Duinn Magee, and I’m a novelist because I love stories.