By Rachel Linden
Confession time… I’m a secret adrenaline junkie. Not the type who jumps from airplanes or dives with sharks; I like my adrenaline with very low risk of bodily harm. But I crave adventure, both in real life and in the books I read and write.
As a child my favorite books were peppered with adventure. Little House on the Prairie, Swiss Family Robison, The Island Keeper, My Side of the Mountain. Stories of survival, ingenuity, and intrigue. I spent hours reenacting my own versions in my tree fort and in the fields surrounding our Blue Ridge Mountains home.
Now as an adult I still crave that same thrill. I don’t want to be shipwrecked on a remote island, but I do want the pulse-pounding exhilaration that accompanies a grand adventure. These days I get my real life adventures while working for an international aid organization. I have 49 countries stamped in my passport so far (and counting!) and dozens of exciting stories to go with those stamps.
But I also want the books I read to be adventurous too. I have a secret pact with myself not to read a book unless the characters lead more interesting lives than my real life. When I read a book I want to feel the vicarious thrill of new love or danger or emotional release. I want to feel more alive through the pages of that story. Good stories entertain us. Great stories make us better humans. My aim is to read and live a great story, a grand adventure. What is your idea of a great story?