Author’s Note In Book Inspired Tracy Caruso – It Can Do The Same For You
In 1987, a young fantasy book fan ran away from home to live with author Piers Anthony. I found out about this incredible true story by reading an author’s note that was included in one of the most popular books of 2023. The kid goes home, but the meeting with Anthony, his favorite author, changes the course of his life and gets him through school. The Wishing Game, a Willy Wonka-esque book by Meg Shaffer, is a surprise bestseller about wish fulfillment for adults that revolves around books instead of candy. I would never have known about the Piers Anthony story without reading Shaffer’s author note. It turns out that those notes can be a secret portal of knowledge to unknown worlds that can open you up to new information that can inspire and change your life.
The Wishing Game book summary from Book of the Month Club;
Make a wish . . .
Lucy Hart knows better than anyone what it’s like to grow up without parents who love her. In a childhood marked by neglect and loneliness, Lucy found solace in the Clock Island series by Jack Masterson. Now a twenty-six-year-old teacher’s aide, she can share her love of reading with bright, young students, especially seven-year-old Christopher Lamb, who was left orphaned after the tragic death of his parents. Lucy would give anything to adopt Christopher, but even the idea of becoming a family seems impossible without proper funds and stability. When Lucy is about to give up, Jack Masterson announces he’s finally written a new book. Even better, he’s holding a contest at his home on the real Clock Island, and Lucy is one of the four lucky contestants chosen to compete to win the only copy.
It sounds juicy, and you’re dying to know what happens. I’m not about to spoil what could be your favorite read of 2023, so let’s skip to the author’s note that inspired this charming, wish-fulfillment fantasy I could easily see being made into a movie that becomes a holiday classic. The Jack Masterson character is a modern-day Willy Wonka. As a child, the Lucy character reads an author’s note in one of Masterson’s books and runs away to live with him as his sidekick at his seemingly magical house because she wants to escape her difficult life. Lucy has to go home, but the incident inspires her life from that point forward. It turns out Shaffer got the idea for her story from real life.
A teenager, now an adult, had a difficult home life, and as a child, he became very absorbed in the fantasy worlds that author Piers Anthony created as a form of escapism. The kid runs away to Anthony’s home in Inverness, Florida. The story inspired an episode of a show called “This American Life” called “Just South of Unicorns.” Now, I was intrigued.
During my trip down the Google rabbit hole to learn everything about this, I discovered that Piers Anthony is a prolific fantasy author who has written lengthy author notes in his books that are sometimes thirty pages long and have nothing to do with his actual books. He discusses his life in these notes, which most would never read. He grew up in England and had a terrible childhood. He hated school, got poor grades, and was bullied. Then he grew up, married, had a daughter, moved to Inverness, Florida, and became a successful author. He’s the type of person who sees the magic in his everyday life. At home, he had a horse named Blue, who became a magical unicorn in one of his books. For a depressed teenage boy, it was all of the push he needed to run away and meet the author.
The kid goes home, but the meeting with Anthony, his favorite author, changes the course of his life and gets him through school. As an adult, he got to retell this fascinating life anecdote to the world on a hugely popular television show, and in turn, I was inspired and now have the opportunity to tell you about it. I would never have known about any of this. I now have a new author to read, a new book genre, and an exciting show to inspire me. It all happened because I read an author’s note.
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