A lot is offered these days in the way of entertainment: a plethora of films, television shows, podcasts and, of course, books. How are we to wade our way through the ocean of offerings to discover something really good?
Mike Parker answers this question on a daily basis for his 7 million followers as Entertainment Editor for Entertainment Examiner. I’m his blog guest today, so that means I made the cut. Whew! An honor! It turns out he liked When Hummers Dream. Timely, too, because we found out today my new e-book has just slipped into the best-seller ranks for Amazon free e-books. (Yay!)
To thank Mike for the splendid, in-depth interview he conducted, and for placing me front and center today on his fantastic website today, I asked if I could interview him back. “Entertainment needs to entertain,” Mike proclaimed. And it’s a more complex statement than it might sound. “As a colleague of mine puts it, ‘we watch [and read] c___ so you don’t have to.’ That’s kind of crude, but it’s the raw truth.’” However he summarizes it, Mike actually has a lofty mission, as I discovered by digging a little deeper.
“Art has a purpose beyond what the artist feels,” Mike explained. “Art has a higher purpose, designed to reveal truth and beauty. It’s really to point people to God, whatever your concept of God may be. Good art invites you to the table of ideas; bad art prevents you from having a seat at the table of ideas. I’m kind of passionate about it.”
On this, we passionately agree. In fact, I’ve been describing my whole tour as a feast of ideas. What does such a virtual feast actually provide? It nurtures the soul, and that’s the core mission of my Milford-Haven Novels. On the surface, they really are pure entertainment. And this “surface” can’t be dismissed. It has to be fulfilled. That’s why it’s such an important part of my author-job to spin a tale whose characters provide jeopardy and tension, humor and connection, wistful dreaming and raw ambition, gentle persuasion and calculated manipulation. I’m committed to creating characters you love, and characters you love to hate, stories that inspire, and stories that keep you maddeningly on the edge of your seat. After all, if you don’t have fun when you open the pages of What the Heart Knows, nothing else really matters.
And then, there’s the deeper level where we authors get to serve Mike’s feast of ideas, setting that table of his until it groans with the weight of sterling truths and golden insights, sumptuous synchronicities and delicious realizations that make the reader sigh with satisfaction.
One reason Mike knows all this is that he’s also an author himself, having penned a heroic fantasy adventure The Scavengers. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, it presents an alternate reality on the cusp of a new Renaissance. “It explores new people-groups, new governments, new religions,” Mike explains. Even so, “human nature persists no matter the situation.”
The theme in my novels is all about head versus heart, balancing the two, tuning in. Well, I think it’s human nature to use our heads to seek out good entertainment. And a great site like Mike’s can help. As we sit there watching or reading, our hearts thank us for that well-done film or for that good read. We need the solace, the perspective, the nurturing. That’s . . . what the heart knows.
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