Friday, October 26, 2012

Based on The Truth?

Writers always weave their personal stories in with their fiction. It's one of the things that makes each author different (and bad authors that much easier to spot). Be it a person, a place, a thing or an event, not a single experience in a writer's life is ever wasted - not when it can be used to make their work feel more real.

My recent short story,Walk of Evil, and my upcoming The Cupid War: Fallon's First Couple, are great examples of my fiction combined with my life. My Cupid War short story, due to be released here on November 1, is a fictional retelling of how I met my wife. Not all the details are exactly the same, but Violet and I did meet at a spoken word event hosted by a mutual friend, and we each saw the other perform on stage before we'd been introduced.

Walk of Evil combined a number of things, such as my familiarity with Orillia and my love of Tim Horton's. The reason the story came to be was my chance meeting with a very devout woman at a church service attended by my cousins. This woman gave a talk about some of the things she'd done, including her 'faith walks' around mosques (with the intent of opening Muslim eyes to the Truth), and her efforts to cure gay people. Taking that brief impression and molding it into the character of Meredith (Walk of Evil's antagonist) was as easy as it was rewarding. If I see her again, I should thank her. Maybe. She did, after all, give me so much material to work with.

People often ask me if they're going to end up in a story of mine someday. The answer isn't no, but it's not exactly yes, either. Not all people are as ripe for spoofing as that faith walker was. I get bits of character from all over, and work them in when I need them. When it came to Meredith, the bit I took was bigger than most.

In the end, of course, it's all fiction. There is truth in fiction, however - each author presents the world as they see it in their work. That's what makes fiction feel true, which is important for drawing readers in. And, when you write supernatural fiction as often as I do, you need all the truth you can get!

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