Why I write magic realism
The beauty of magical realism is that it allows you to highlight and emphasise aspects of ordinary life in a highly imaginative and evocative way. I’ve always been fascinated by the mind and how it shapes our perception, but in a normal novel, if you spend too long on a characters thoughts and feelings, it can get boring.
With magical realism, I can express the character’s inner experience in a more interesting and powerful way by providing a visual image. For example when Dylan, the main male character tries to decide what subjects to choose for school the following year, words fly around the room and attack him, and when Carly, the female lead, battles doubt in herself, she uses laser light from her heart to destroys a huge purple doubt dragon.
The subject matter for You Can’t Shatter Me is bullying, which could be too real for some, but if you turn it into fantasy, it becomes too unreal to relate to people’s lives. Writing about real kids in a very real situation but with magical elements to illuminate the character’s inner development was the perfect choice for You Can’t Shatter Me.
Synopsis: You Can’t Shatter Me
Sixteen year old Carly wants to write her own life and cast herself as a superhero, but when she stands up to a bully, the story gets out of her control. Dylan, a karate-trained nerd who supports her stand, turns out to be a secret admirer, and Justin, the bully, makes Carly his next victim. While romance blossoms, Dylan faces attacking words, an unreliable movie director, a concrete habit that requires smashing, and an unruly Neanderthal. Meanwhile, the bully’s increasing harassment forces Carly to deal with flying hooks, unflushable cowpats, and deadly dragons. An old hippie shows her an inner magic that’s supposed to make her invincible, but will Carly learn to use it before the bully strikes again and Dylan resorts to violence?
Book Links for You Can’t Shatter Me
Author bio & links
Tahlia is an avid reader, an extremely casual high school teacher, an occasional mask-maker and has studied philosophy & meditation for many years. After scripting and performing in Visual Theatre shows for 20 years, she is now a bone-fide expatriate of the performing arts. She lives in an Australian rainforest, is married with a teenage daughter and loves cats, but she doesn’t have one because they eat native birds.
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