Following my recent visit to Isle Madame, where I had several good conversations about Thomas, A Secret Life and The Maze — and the novels yet to come to complete the quartet — I find myself once again mulling over why I have moved from a long career of writing history over the divide into fiction. The shortest answer seems to be writing is how I figure out the world. That’s writing of any and every kind. When it was history, writing about the research I had carried out was how I came to find out as precisely as I could what all the data and stories meant. But all along I knew it was an exterior understanding with obvious limitations, depending on the sources available. With fiction, I aspire to be inside the characters and with them in all the settings they explore. History versus fiction, outside versus inside: I don’t claim one to be superior to the other, but it’s through the writing that I continue to make sense of the world.
I have posted a few photos taken during my brief Isle Madame sojourn on Facebook at A J B Johnston, Writer.