Really quickly: We have Megan Hart guesting with us today! Some of the links might not be working because a bunch of author sites were hacked into recently and there’s still some fall out. Thanks for understanding!
I’ve been thinking lately about reality versus fiction. There’s this idea that writers, especially (or so it seems) of erotic fiction, must somehow live or do or experience what they write about. I think in the case of erotic work, readers assume that the author has, at some point, had some sort of sex, whereas maybe readers don’t assume a mystery or thriller writer has actually murdered someone. But why the automatic assumption that what we write about is…well…true?
It is, fiction, after all. What I write, anyway. I make stuff up. I tell lies for a living. I spin fantasies. Sometimes they’re erotic, sometimes they’re less so; sometimes they’re not sexy at all. It’s all still fiction.
But that doesn’t mean I also don’t use a lot of reality in my writing. Reality finds its way into my work via the small details — the flavor of coffee the character is drinking, the view from her window, the television program or song currently her favorite…often these are things I glean from my life. Not always my own preferences, mind you, but maybe those of someone I know. The color of a shirt, a pair of boots, a phrase, a joke overheard in the supermarket — these small bits and pieces are what thread my stories together and anchor them in reality. By using what I see around me, in my real life, I try to weave a fictional world that feels authentic.
Yet this doesn’t mean everything I write is real, that I’ve experienced it. And it doesn’t mean that just because a character thinks or feels or acts in a certain way that I feel that way, or act that way, or even condone that sort of thing (whatever it might be.) There IS a difference between me and my work, something that it feels like readers sometimes forget. And of course, I can’t speak for every writer. For all I know, there are writers out there who only write about things they’ve actually done or think or feel or experience or believe.
But that’s not me.
So yes, you will find my stories littered with a little bit of this, a little bit of that, tiny pieces of what’s going on around me at the time I’m writing the scene. If you know me, you might pick out some of those things, which are sometimes deliberate “inside” references and sometimes not. I try as hard as a I can when telling my lies to make sure they all sound as real as they can…
But in the end, it’s all still fiction.
Thanks for reading!
ALL FALL DOWN
available now from MIRA
In the midst of a chaotic midnight assembly, Sunshine is forced out into the darkness. Holding a scrap of paper scrawled with a stranger’s name and address, Sunny grasps the hands of her three small children and begins her escape.
Liesel Albright has dreamed of starting a family. She never bargained on inheriting one already in progress…or one so deeply damaged. When nineteen-year-old Sunshine appears on the Albright’s doorstep claiming Liesel’s husband Chris is her father, all they can think to offer is temporary shelter. The next day, they’re stunned by the news that the Family of Superior Bliss, led by a charismatic zealot, has committed mass suicide. Sunny and her children haven’t just left the compound–they’ve been left behind.
Now, instead of a baby of her own, Liesel must play mother to the four survivors while Chris retreats into guilt and denial. For Sunny, however, a lifetime of teachings is not easily unlearned. No matter how hard she tries to forget, an ominous catechism echoes in her mind, urging her to finish what the Family started.
Comment below to win a copy of All Fall Down!
So… I have to admit I actually haven’t had a chance to read this book yet. I do, however, plan to give away a copy in the future, so keep your eyes peeled for that. (And yes, I mean one other than today’s giveaway.) I did read Wendy the Super Librarian’s review – and I know I’ll be hitting this book at some point. I’m also just going to let Wendy talk about it because she says everything so much better than I ever could hope to.