Friday, July 16, 2010

Blame it on the Wizard

By Merrie Destefano


The WINNER is "C", who posted at 8:22 a.m. CONGRATULATIONS! C, there are two ways you can get me your contact info. One: Friend me on Twitter, I'll friend you back, then you can DM me your address and e-mail. Or you could post your e-mail address in the comments section like this: name [at] address. Let me know if you want me to delete that comment after I get your info.

Thanks so much to everyone who read this post and commented. I loved reading all of your answers! I wish I could have given an ARC to all of you. Just an FYI, I ran everything through a randomizer program to find the winner.

I’ve loved imaginary people for a very long time. Ever since I was a little girl. The youngest in a family of eight, I grew up with brothers and sisters who towered over me like giants. So when it came time to play, I invented my own best friend. Okay, he was a bubble, but he was way cool. Before long, I had all the other neighborhood kids wanting a bubble for a best friend too. I also went through a long period of time when I wouldn’t answer to any other name but Glinda.

I’m blaming it all on the Wizard of Oz.

The bottom line is, books and movies really do affect our lives. That movie got me walking down the path toward the Emerald City, and honestly I’ve never looked back. I’m a sci-fi and fantasy girl, always will be. Granted, I’ve taken a few turns along the way, indulging myself occasionally in tales of horror or mystery. Still nothing satisfies me like a good speculative fiction story.

Today, I still love imaginary people. I spend a good part of my day torturing—I mean, hanging out with—the characters in my books. Imaginary people, yes, but to me they’re as real as my next door neighbors. I cry when one of my characters dies, I feel stressed when they’re in trouble, I worry about them when I’m trying to fall asleep at night.

Likewise, they torment me—having long conversations in my head when I don’t have a pen, refusing to respond when I’m trying to get them to reveal their secrets, taking a right turn at Albuquerque when we all know they’re supposed to turn left.

Imaginary people can be just as troublesome as the flesh-and-blood variety.

So, my question today is this: Did you have an imaginary friend when you were little? If so, who or what was it? And if not, who would you pick today?

To get our conversation rolling, I’m giving away a signed, advance reader copy of my debut novel, Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles. [Due out on Sept. 28, by the way.]

To enter to win, please make a comment about your imaginary friend—even if you have to make him up! You can earn points by:

+1 Posting in the comments section
+1 Linking to this post on Twitter
+1 Linking to this post on Facebook
+1 Linking to the Supernatural Underground blog on your own blog/website

Just post the total number of points that you’ve earned in your comment. Winner to be announced in this post tomorrow. Contest ends tonight at midnight!

Also, if any of you are going to Comic Con in San Diego, I hope you’ll stop by the author panel where I’ll be speaking and say hi! I’d love to meet you!


Amy Valentini said...

Hi Merrie, well, I never had an imaginary friend per se but I think I've been writing characters for as long as I can remember. I have entire stories and characters worked out in my head all the time. Even when I'm working on one project and totally involved in those character's lives and conversations, others tend to creep in and suddenly, I've branched off and a whole new story begins to form. I've an entirely too active imagination. LOL!!!
If I can figure out how to link this to facebook, I'll have two points but I sure would love to have an autographed copy of your book. : )

Terri Garey said...

Great post, Merrie. I wish I was eligible for the ARC, because I want it! :-)

Funny you should be talking about imaginary friends... when I was a little girl, my imaginary friend was a BOY, named Lucas (I have absolutely no idea why I picked that name... it wasn't very common back then). He had brown hair, and brown eyes (well, imaginary brown hair and brown eyes, anyway). :-)

Years later, someone close to me found out they were pregnant. It was very bad timing all around, but she was determined to keep the baby. Not knowing anything at all about my imaginary friend, she named him Lucas (which is still not that common of a name). He's almost six now, with brown hair and brown eyes, and he's the coolest little kid I've ever known. I absolutely adore him, and love hanging out with him.

And I LOVED the Wizard of OZ!

Sharon S. said...

no imaginary friend as a child :( I was too busy playing sports and what not. Today, I would love an imaginary friend. When I clean the house I crank up the music and dance/clean. Would be cool to have someone help . The flying monkeys scared me when I was little, now I want one!

Sharon S. said...

oops, 2 points for me!

Donna said...

Oh, I wish I was going to Comic Con this year!!

I guess I have make up an imaginary friend, one that would be a lot Casper the Ghost. He just popped into my head a fun imaginary companion.

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+3 points

Brenda Hyde said...

It depends on what you mean- mine weren't invisible friends. They were the barn kitties, and my Barbies. Yep, I talked to them. I also forced my younger brothers and sisters to play school and house with me. I, of course, was always in charge. LOL

I have the Supernatural button on my blog, and I commented, so 2 points for me:)

LadyTechie said...

My imaginary friend is more the imagined story of my life being lived in a way that is different then I currently live it where I am a superhero and date the guy I would choose to date and have homes in all kinds of fun places. The imaginary guy I date is a real person but imagined the way I believe he would be if he were the perfect guy. Boy is he amazing and beautiful in my head!

Rachel498 said...

I never really had an imaginary friend, but if I did it would probably be a guy. A hot one. Who would laugh at all my not-funny jokes. And who would listen to me talk endlessly about all my favorite books and characters :)

Leah Clifford said...

I TRIED to have an imaginary friend. I made one up and everything, but after two weeks I told my mom I felt dumb and went back to playing. :) I always was a strange child...

Lyndsey-Jane said...

I don't remember having an imaginary friend as a child, but wish I did. I love hearing stories about peoples imaginary friends. If I could an imaginary friend it would have to be someone someone very mischievous and naughty. I do however, love that in the new Doctor Who series the Doctor is thought to be Amy Ponds imaginary friend. I have posted link to this page on my Tumblr which cross posts to Twitter.

Barbara E. said...

No, I didn't have an imaginary friend when I was little, but as soon as I learned to read, books were my friends and they still are. If I had to pick a person, it would be Alexia from Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series.

Bethany C. said...

I think only children more commonly have imaginary friends, for obvious reasons, but although I'm an only child, I never had one. I've always been okay with, and in fact need, lots of alone time, and an imaginary friend just doesn't fit with that I guess. But if I did have one, they'd definitely be from a foreign country, and have a great accent.

posted on twitter-
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Merrie Destefano said...

Wow! I love all of your comments!

Amy, I totally understand about how characters are like imaginary friends. =)

Terri, I loved your story about Lucas!

Sharon, For some reason I loved the flying monkeys! I want one too.

Donna, I wish you were going to Comic Con too. =(

Merrie Destefano said...

Moonsanity, Hi! Aren't kitties the best friends ever?

C, Wow. I love that. A whole imaginary life. I actually have a "happy place" that I go to sometimes. I imagine that I live on a street (where I actually lived once) and all of my best friends and favorite people--some of whom live in other states, a couple are dead--are my neighbors.

Rachel445, A hot guy with a sense of humor. Now that would be an awesome imaginary friend!

Leah, Your answer rocks! You totally made me crack up. I bet you were an awesome child. =)

Merrie Destefano said...

Lindsey-Jane, That's so cool about the new Doctor Who plot where he's an imaginary friend!

Barbara E, Books are an awesome place to go to find friends. I bet that sounds weird to people who don't read. I still think about Anne of Green Gables as if she were a real person.

Bethany, I love that--an imaginary friend from a foreign country with an accent. That would be so fun!

Melissa said...

I never had an imaginary friend as a child which now that I think about it is strange. I grew up like an only child (brothers are 14 and 17 y/o than me) and we lived out in the sticks where there were no kids. I did not see another child my age until I was almost 5 years old and went to pre-k. That should be the perfect situation but I think that is where I lacked in the imagination skills department.

I have always believed in the paranormal / supernatural as the place we lived in the sticks was haunted. My favorite genre has always be urban fantasy and paranormal. I do stray to mystery / thrillers every once in a while but always come back to the paranormal.

Interesting subject to think about.

A'lina said...

I don't remember really having an imaginary friend but as a kid I would talk to the family dog all the time and pretend he talked back.

Lorena said...

I never had an imaginary friend - I had my sister and my cousins to keep me company. But, I did love this character named Mojo from the old Batman animated series in the '90s. He was an imaginary friend to a little girl, but he was also her dad after he'd gone and "turned villain." I liked the name Mojo so much, I ended up naming my family's pet chihuahua after him (and he was so small, he was almost imaginary himself!). If I had an imaginary friend, I'd probably dream up someone with super cool powers, but who was easy to talk to and normal otherwise.

Oh, and hope to see you at Comic-Con -- that panel was on my to-see list anyway! :)

Jessica @ a GREAT read said...

Oh what was her name?? Me and my imaginary friend had a lot in common and she was always there for me. She never moved away, never changed her habits and became snobby. She was a good consistent friend.

Wish I could go to Comic Con, but that's not likely since it's in CA. Oh well.

Count me in for the contest!

+1 Comment
+1 Link to blog,
*in the side bar


Blodeuedd said...

I never had one :(
But if I had one, he or she, would always want to play, say nice things, tell me to take one more cookie ;)

cheesecake.thief59 said...

I had one, named Mindy. But the weird thing is, she was a monkey and would sit on my shoulder! I could understand her though =)

+1 for commenting
+1 linking S.U. on my facebook.

Nicole Murphy said...

My imaginary friend was a canary called Tweetie. My tweetie was a real canary, not the puffed-up lovely little bird from the cartoon.

At some point, I decided Tweetie had to have a husband and so I gave her Bob, who was a wedge-tailed eagle. If you've not seen one, go here

Um, so yeah, I've always had a bit of a thing for mismatched couples :) Then of course they had babies, and I would walk to school with Tweetie on my shoulder, the babies flying around my head and Bob soaring above us in the sky. He'd come sit on the other shoulder from time to time and I'd have to walk lopsided cause of the size...

Ah, those were the days.

Sara M said...

I had an imaginary friend when I was a little kid. I don't remember his name anymore, so I'm gonna call him Joel.

Read for your future! said...

I love supernatural stories i hope i win. I have 4 points.
thank you

Crystal @ RBtWBC said...

I never had an imaginary friend. My brother and I pretty much kept each other entertained with our toys and imaginary worlds we made out of his bunk bed. If I could have an imaginary friend though? Hmmmm...can I have Bones? That'd be fun. ;-)
Please don't enter me in the contest. I already won this fabulous book. THANK YOU!
Have a great weekend everyone!

Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

I've never really had imaginary friends...I read A LOT so I guess you could say the characters in the books I read were my imaginary BFF's. I guess to some extent book characters are still my friends. Of course if I were to have an imaginary friend today she would have to love to discuss books with me and on ocassion give me fashion advice. LOL!

Tweeting it!

XOXO~ Renee

Cassay said...

I didn't have an imgainary friend :(

+3 points

Cassandra C

Merrie Destefano said...

Melissa, Yikes! Living in a haunted house as a child. I can see why you like the supernatural and paranormal!

A'lina, I love that you pretended your dog could talk!

Lorena, I'm going to have to look up Mojo--what a fabulous character!

Jessica, I wish you could go to Comic Con too! And I love that your imaginary friend was nice. =)

Merrie Destefano said...

Blodeuedd, Best friends always say, "Take one more cookie." Yay, for best friends, whether they're imaginary or real!

Nicole, I would have loved hanging out with you as a child! That sounds exactly like something I would have done. Seriously. =)

Sara, So glad you had an imaginary pal. And I think he would like to be renamed Joel. =)

Lora1967, Supernatural stories rock, don't they? Thanks for all the points!

Crystal, So glad you posted, even though you won last time! And I think Bones would make a perfect imaginary friend. =)

SteelerGirl83, Go, Steelers! I mean, I totally understand about characters in books being friends. Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks everyone for all the comments and the tweets and for being fun to hang around! =) I hope I get to see some of you at Comic Con.

Tanya1224 said...

I never had an imaginary friend....I would have fantasies and they would change day to day. I remember that movie drop dead Fred and I always thought it was crazy, that no one had imaginary friends. I sure was wrong because I've found out that actually quite a few people did. I'm older so if I was to pick a friend it would be a bad boy w/wings that i played w/everyday =) thanks for the contest. +2 points comment and twittered @

Llehn said...

My imaginary friend would be like Neil Gaiman. He would entertain me with his humor and witty insights and stories which I would then poach and pass of as my own :D


Anonymous said...

Hi Merrie So nice meeting you! I was laughing out loud with the pics you used with your post It was priceless! Especially that woman sobbing Lol
At first I was scared of my imaginary friend I discovered him on the low roof by my window sitting out looking across the yards My dad told me not to be scared because he was there watch over me and to talk to My parents later when I was older told me that I stopped sleepwalking when I had my friend It was cool I called him Cowboy, no other fun going back to those memories. Caffey
posted on my blog on side at:
Twitter: CaffeyCathie
and Facebook:

nymfaux said...

Hope you have fun at Comic Con!!!!

Hmmm...didn't really have an imaginary friend, but put myself in lots of made up stories with other characters...

+1 Posting in the comments section
+1 Linking to this post on Twitter
+1 Linking to this post on Facebook
+1 Linking to the Supernatural Underground blog on your own blog/website (sidebar)

Helen Lowe said...

I had not 1 but 3 imaginary friends when I was very small, all female (which may have had something to do with being the only girl for a long time, with 3 brothers) and they lived at the bottom of our garden. As we all got older my brothers and I began making up games to play, usually adventurous, and one of my brothers was our "armourer", making wooden swords and "long rifles", as well as bows and arrows--and eventually I began to write plays that we could act out, and from there, as a teen, my first books ...

Have fun at Comicon, Merrie: the panel sounds great! :-)

nymfaux said...

congrats to the winner! that's awesome!!!

abailey163 said...

Love your books, Hope I win, Can't wait for Conner's books