Okay, it’s confession time – I’m a control freak. I hate having to give up responsibility for things (which actually made me a perfect first child). So the position I’m in now – not being able to control what happens with Secret Ones, having to rely on complete strangers enjoying it for it to sell – is a difficult thing for me to face.
I think that this is one of the drawcards for urban fantasy for me. I spoke in my first post about how wonderful it is that we have strong female characters in UF. Well, the stories often put these women through all sorts of hellish situations, times where they don’t have a lot of control, and often the key to surviving is giving up their control and letting someone else handle things.
A case in point is my newest obsession – Vicki Pettersson’s Zodiac series (hi Vicki!). I’ve only read the first two books, but I immediately then ordered the next three and they’ve just arrived, so I can dive back in.
To me, Joanna Archer is a classic control freak. She doesn’t want to let go of anything. If she can’t do it herself, then it doesn’t need to be done. However, she’s now in a situation where she can’t achieve what she needs to alone. In fact, by being a control freak, she’s often making the job harder for everyone.
Slowly but surely, she’s having to let go. To accept that there’s some things she just can’t do alone. To accept that there’s some things she has no impact on whatsoever. Stuff will happen – to her, to her friends, her loved ones – and there’s not a damn thing she can do about it.
Watching someone like Joanna having to relax her relentless hold on her life and everything about it is cathartic. Even though she’s fictional, Joanna is teaching me that yes it’s hard to let go, yes it’s hard to just focus on the things you actually can do, but it’s also liberating. You have time to see the world around you, to appreciate things you didn’t previously. You can also be more effective, because you’re doing the things you are focussed on BETTER.
Have you found yourself getting life lessons from the men and women of urban fantasy? I’d love to know.