If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

June Interviews

6/02 Terrie Moran, Murder She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond

6/09 Connie Berry, The Art of Betrayal

6/16 Kathleen Kalb, A Final Finale or A Fatal First Night

6/23 Jackie Layton, Bag of Bones: A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery

6/30 Mary Keliikoa, Denied

Saturday WWK Bloggers

6/12 Jennifer J. Chow

6/26 Kait Carson

Guest Blogs

6/05 Samantha Downing

6/19 Lynn Johanson


E. B. Davis's "The Pearl Necklace" will appear in the new SinC Guppy anthology The Fish That Got Away to be released in July by Wildside Press. The anthology was edited by Linda Rodriguez. It will be released on June 21st.

Paula Gail Benson's monologue "Beloved Husband," from the perspective of Norton Baskin the second husband of Marjorie Kinan Rawlings (who wrote The Yearling and Cross Creek), appears in the Red Penguin Collection's An Empty Stage (released March 28, 2021).

Martha Reed's "Death by GPS" will appear in the Spring 2021 issue of Suspense Magazine, which will be released in the second week of April. Congratulations, Martha!

Susan Van Kirk has a new audiobook, A Death at Tippitt Pond, that will be released this month. Marry in Haste will be released in May by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery, as will Death Takes No Bribes in September. Congratulations, Susan.

Congratulations to Martha Reed. Her short story, "The Honor Thief" was chosen for the 2021 Bouchercon Anthology, This Time For Sure. Hank Phillippi Ryan will edit the volume, which will be released in August at the time of the convention.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Killer Weeds," appears in the January 20 edition of Texas Gardener's Seeds: From Our Garden to Yours. Congratulations, Margaret, who, if you follow Facebook know, is a superb gardener herself!

Congratulations to Paula Gail Benson whose "Reputation or Soul" has been chosen for Malice Domestic 16: Mystery Most Diabolical anthology to be released this spring.

KM Rockwood's "Stay Safe--Very Safe" appears in this year's 2020 BOULD anthology. Congratulations, KM!

Annette Dashofy signed with agent Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Congratulations, Annette!


Sunday, August 23, 2020

My Imaginary Friends by Annette Dashofy

I was reading another blog the other day (OOPS. That is allowed, isn’t it?) when the topic (stuffed animals, blankies, and imaginary friends) sent me off on a memory spiral. Never mind my childhood blankie and favorite stuffed animals. The part that made me start to reminisce was the imaginary friends thing. 

I’m not sure how young I was when my imaginary friend, Linda (no last name), moved into our barn, but I remember my mom anxiously insisting that I wasn’t allowed to take her to school once I started first grade. 

Nor was I allowed to take my imaginary dog, Lassie (also my favorite TV show), to school. 

Well, duh. Dogs are never allowed in school. Unless it’s a service dog or maybe on show-and-tell day. 

Linda was cooler than I was. She wore funky glasses, while my own were plain and ugly in my mind. Yes, she lived in the barn, but in “our” world, the barn had been renovated into a wonderful residence. We played at her house a lot. She always had cats (barn cats) around. I, on the other hand, wasn’t allowed to have pets inside. 

Except for Lassie, whom my mom couldn’t see! 

I was vaguely aware of my mother’s concerns. I truly believe she was considering therapy for her young daughter who spoke of this girl and dog who weren’t really there. Keep in mind, I was sixteen years younger than my only sibling, who was away at college, leaving me as an almost-only child. We lived on a farm and I didn’t become acquainted with the one girl who lived relatively nearby until several years later. 

Linda was my sole playmate. And since she was always at my beck and call, I was never lonely. 

In hindsight, I can see that Linda, her renovated (at least in my mind) barn home, and my collie dog were the first hints at what my future held. Now I make up friends and create houses and assorted structures, where there are none, on a daily basis. I conjure up whole herds of horses, several cats, and an occasional dog. They all go into my stories. And I admit, I find it vindicating when my readers talk to me about Zoe and Pete as if they were as real to them as they are to me. 

My mom was still around and aware of my books and readers, at least through the first two in the series. Gradually, she faded into her own world of dementia before passing away prior to the release of No Way Home. I remember the puzzled but pleased look on her face at my first launch party. She never did fully understand my vivid imagination nor my invisible friends, even when they ended up in print.


How about you, readers and fellow writers? Did you have imaginary friends when you were young? Do you think there’s a link to a vivid imagination as a child and your current creative endeavors?


Judy Penz Sheluk said...

I love this post. As an only child of very strict immigrant parents, I had plenty of imaginary friends, and they helped with the stories percolating inside my head. Fast forward to decades later, and a not-imaginary friend asked me about the book I was writing. As I started to tell her, she began to stare at me, an odd look on her face. Finally she said, "you talk about them as if they were real." And I told her, "They are to me." Because, well, they just are. Good to know I'm not alone! Thanks Annette.

Annette said...

You are definitely not alone, Judy. And isn't it wonderful when a reader also talks about your characters as if they were real?

E. B. Davis said...

Yes, and I remember thinking that if I could imagine, then I could write about it. Of course it isn't quite that simple.

Annette said...

It's funny, E.B., I never made the connection between my imaginary friends and my love of writing stories until much much later. And no, it's definitely not that simple.

Unknown said...

I used to love to make up worlds. I was Robin Hood's little sister. Annie Oakley's best friend. My imaginary friend thought these wanderings were silly, but criticize. Then there were the adventures taken while sitting in the back seat during long car trips.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

I was the oldest of three born in 4 years, and mentally escaped the chaos with my imaginary friends. After I could read, I used my dolls (and later, my friends) to act out scenes from books.

Ann Bennett said...

I never had imaginary friends and find this topic fun and fascinating. I'm from the South with a heavy Scot-Irish ancestry which has a storytelling tradition. I wish I could ask some of the good storytellers that I grew up with if they had imaginary friends. My father could talk in rhymes which we as children loved. My guess that that creativity was a result of a talent with language may not be the only source.

KM Rockwood said...

I didn't have imaginary friends, but I did put myself in all kinds of imaginary situations that turned into long involved stories.

I thought one of my daughters had imaginary friends, but that was put into doubt when a book came out listing the house in which we lived as haunted. Before I showed her the book, I asked her if she'd ever seen anything paranormal. She said, "Yeah, Mom. Don't you remember? You thought I had imaginary friends that visited me at bedtime. They weren't imaginary."

My other daughter had a penchant for acting out and supplementing the things she read (she read strange things for child--often non-fiction.) For a good while there, the spare bedroom was a French war orphanage for every doll and stuffed animal she could get her hands on.

Annette said...

That's amazing, KM!

I'm quite sure my imaginary friends were just that. Not ghosts. I'm almost envious of your daughter. Almost.

Kait said...

What a great blog! Yes, I definitely had imaginary friends growing up. I was the only girl and the youngest kid in my neighborhood. I wouldn't trade that for any other growing up, but it did mean that there were times I was left out of the action either due to age or gender! Imaginary friends filled the gap.

Annette said...

Thanks, Kait! And thank goodness for our imaginary friends!

Storyteller Mary said...

When my siblings wouldn't play school, my dolls and stuffed toys became pupils . . . and yes, book characters felt like friends, too. Even now, my book friends share adventures with me while I stay safe at home. <3

Annette said...

Thank goodness for books, Mary!