This continues my conversation with Meredith Finch. You can read the first half of our conversation here.
Tito W. James: This is more of a personal question. So, you write a lot of fantasy stories. Do you believe in anything supernatural or otherworldly?
Meredith Finch: Wow! That is a personal question! [Laughs]
I believe in God. I’m a very strong Christian and have very strong religious beliefs. Some people may consider that [to be] supernatural or otherworldly. But yeah, I do think that there’s more out there than just us. I think that if you don’t have some type of belief in something greater than yourself, then what’s the point? What are we doing here? I think that believing in something gives us a broader purpose.
TWJ: That’s fascinating because I’ve heard that a lot–specifically from fantasy authors. Like an easy example is C.S. Lewis with The Chronicles of Narnia. There are many authors who are religious, who go on to write amazing fantasy stories. Why do you think that is?
MF: I love C.S. Lewis–even his religious writings are phenomenal. I think with fantasy fiction and having a religious foundation you’re willing to explore something “greater than” and be more open to that. It’s hard to say.
TWJ: Maybe there’s a connection to stories having power to inspire people.
MF: I think that’s a good way to approach fantasy fiction. It’s a safe way to address larger ideas without being confrontational about it. In The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe stories, Aslan was basically Jesus and Narnia was heaven. It’s a great away to expose these ideas to people who might not pick up a religious book, but give them a concept of thinking about something beyond themselves.
TWJ: I’m reminded of an Alejandro Jodorowsky quote where he said that maybe the purpose of life was to create a soul. For him, that was creating films because you’re creating something that is personal but also lasts beyond your mortality. Which I guess is a loose definition of a soul.
MF: Sure! You know I always try to put something of myself–a lesson I’ve learned, or something meaningful to me–in all of my stories. I think that’s what people relate to when they’re reading them as well.
I think as a writer or any type of creator, that you are exposing yourself or a piece of your soul to your audience. Hopefully, they’re responding to that and you’re creating meaning that you wouldn’t get any other way.
TWJ: Some comics that I tend to avoid seem to be just mash-ups of geeky ideas that are popular. It feels like plastic combined with more plastic, as opposed to something more personal and genuine. Do you think there’s any way to inject more “soul’ into the comic medium?
MF: Honestly, I think that as long as you write from your heart and you are genuine in the things that you are trying to say and do, that comes across. I never try to do something that I don’t believe in myself. I think that when you try to manufacture something that you don’t believe in, that’s when people see through it. As long as you’re being genuine and putting your heart out there into your work, you’ll find an audience and people will respond to it.