Fact and Fiction

“I’m writing books. They’re still a work of fact and fiction and will continue to be. I think it’s an interesting place to work.” -James Frey¬†

“A play is fiction- and fiction is fact distilled into truth.”

-Edward Albee

In the near future, I’ll be teasing more about The Forgotten Girl. It’s not set to release until February, but I’ve been working with a talented photographer (and dear friend) to create a book trailer and still photos. The main character, Stella, was based off my great grandmother, and consequently, much of what happened to her in her life.

But it’s fiction.

It’s important to remember that as a writer, my book becomes my canvas, and the story I tell often becomes different than the one I set out to paint. I believe most authors– at least the really good ones– use personal experiences and emotions to tell their stories. That doesn’t mean they have experienced all that their character has. It just means that good writing has to come from a place of authenticity. I never immigrated to the United States to escape servitude like Stella. But I have felt trapped in situations, places so dark that I felt I would suffocate. That’s the place I found when I wrote this book. And, I’d venture to say that most authors try to do the same. They find a place in their heart, perhaps a spot of shared emotions or lessons as their MC, and they stay there. They pull from there, and they try their hardest to write truth into every bit of fiction. I know I try.

I recently finished another rough draft. It’s historical fiction (Yep…I can’t seem to stray from that). It’s yet to find a name (or a contract, for that matter), and it is raw and jumbled. However, between the lines and messiness, lies truth beneath the fiction. I put so much of me into the pages– in the same way I did with Stella’s story. The plot, the characters, the actual things that happened– total fiction. But the feelings and growth that happens to the main character Elle (and the growing pains she experiences) are as real as could be. So much of them are what I experienced. I know I’m not alone, and I hope to connect with younger readers (high school girls), as well as those like me (the ones that survived the whole growing-into-yourself thing).

Fiction isn’t really fiction, when you see it for what it is: a way for writers to share their truths they’ve found along the way.



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