Having dinner with friends last week, the launch party for my first book “grace” was brought up.
“Okay,” my friend’s husband leans back from the table. He straightens out his spectacles and says, “About your book…I don’t want to sound stupid, but which one’s real? Fiction or non-fiction?”
His wife nods her head, “I always get those confused!”
“That’s not uncommon,” I reply. “Non-fiction is the real stuff, like auto biographies.” I nod at them and try to help them with the trick I used to learn this. “Fiction is false. EF-Fake.”
“Okay, I think I got it. So your book ‘grace’ is…?” Both of them look at me.
The restaurant is a flurry of activity; families enjoying dinner, couples conversing, mugs of margaritas and the sizzles of fajitas swarming all around us.
“Grace is fiction, but many parts of the book are taken from real life–from my life or lives of those around me. So some of it, you could say, is non-fiction.”
I say, “Take for example, the four main characters. They are totally made up people. False. Fiction. But the part in there with the hunting dog, that story is true. My uncle’s hunting dog Corky really did that.”
My two confused friends lean in closer and look at me with eyebrows raised. “Okay, so why did you choose to write ‘grace’ as fiction?”
I look at them. I think they are tracking with me now just as the waitress arrives with our steaming plates of cheesy, beany deliciousness.
As we settle in with our food, my friend’s husband resumes, “I have only gotten to the acknowledgements section, so don’t say too much! Okay, so let me get this straight. Your book is non-fiction?”
His wife chuckles, “No, its fiction!” Then she looks at me, “Right?”
We’re all laughing.
The conversation above really happened. Non-fiction. True.
The book I wrote is a fiction novel with characters I made up. The location in southern Oregon exists and has been molded by me (fiction) to fit the made- up (fictional) action of the story, which in turn is loosely based on some life events I’ve witnessed and sprinkled with pieces and parts of reality and truth (non-fiction).
Crystal clear as mud?
As many people I know read it, I am certain they will see parts of themselves and events that we’ve shared in life, but the reality is – fiction provides a beautiful freedom to express a reality or truth that is shared.
This happens all the time in literature. Even in The Bible, Jesus often taught his disciples with “parables” or stories in order to point out a truth.
SPOILER ALERT!!! I thought it would be helpful to share some tid-bits from my “fiction” book that are the non-fiction (TRUE) parts. (If you haven’t yet read “grace” beware of the following information):
Robbery at grandparent’s house right after Easter by escaped, convicted child molesters – True
My parents’ bright orange Vega was stolen in the robbery – True
My “grampy” was a championship trap shooter who battled with lung cancer – True
My uncle’s hunting dog Corky and the event in the book – True
My friend floated down a different river much to her hatred and fear of snakes – True
Ashland creek flooded in 1997 – True
I know someone who basically subsisted on Skittles – True
The story about “The River” on the cover of the book of by Heidi Rosner (see prior blog “Behind the Cover” on juleseddy1.wordpress.com) – True
“Grace” is currently available from WestBowPress.com, Amazon.com & Barnesandnoble.com – True
Friends have sprinkled seeds of the truth of Jesus Christ in my life, forever changing me – True
The undying, relentless, unfathomable, all consuming love of a Savior who never gives up on us, even to the death – TRUE!
(This list is not exhaustive—you’ll have to ask me about the rest! 8)
If you are in the Valley of the Sun, save the morning of Saturday, JUNE 1st for a FREE Launch Party/book signing/raffle at ASU’s Sky Song’s Convergence room from 10am – 12pm. “Grace” is available at the party!
I hope to see you there! True!