Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Note For My Readers

I'm guilty of it whenever I read a book. I always imagine the author in the role of the main character, even if I have never met them. Stephanie Meyer is Bella, Margaret Mitchell is Scarlett (and a little bit of Melanie), Henry Winkler IS Hank Zipzer. I try not to, but can't help it. What they are writing is a window into their secret thoughts. Some of it is real, some of it is completely fabricated creation. I can imagine for those who read my books and KNOW me to find it difficult to separate fact from fiction as well.

I have written 9 books, 7 of which are on Lulu open for public viewing right now. Each book has a little part of me in it. Maybe there is one scene that mirrors something that happened in my life. Maybe it's dialogue between a mom and daughter that is similar to dialogue I have had or witnessed. But the characters are not me and all the occurrences in the book are strictly fiction.

Try to keep this in mind when reading anything I've written. One of my more recent books may be more difficult for you to do (When it Rains. . .) because the main character is an occupational therapist and she has two daughters. The thinking behind this. . . .I had just written In the Weeds which took a lot out of me. I was ready for something fun, easy and smooth.

Why an OT?

1. I had written about being an Olympic swimmer, a movie star, an investigative reporter, a minister, a mom, and teenagers. I was ready to include a profession that I actually knew a lot about and wouldn't have to research.

2. You never see stories about OTs in main stream literature. We get a little excited when we see what we do in print.

3. Most people I know have no idea what an OT does. Read the book and you'll understand. I am being faithful to my profession by writing about it.

And why two daughters?

1. Again I was looking for a quick, easy, fun book to write. With two energetic girls running around me as I write, how can I not include some of the crazy things they say and do?

2. A successful author once gave me advice. Write down everything your kids do when they are little. They will make great characters in a book someday and you will never remember the dialogue that made it perfect if you don't write it down.

3. My girls are not Izzy and Katie - their personalities/ages/interests are different than my kids, and there really isn't anything specific in the book that actually happened. But really, it's more of just a feeling of the kids. If I wrote about boys it just wouldn't feel as "real" to me.

Outside of the character being an OT, living in a fictional seaside community (in CT) and having 2 daughters, there are no other similarities to my life. Tom does NOT appear in this book at all (or really any for that matter). I make sure to keep him out - his privacy is important to me and him. Things said between us never appear in my books. It is all completely fiction. I have never met a sexy drummer in a band, a balding, debonair attorney or had an attractive co-worker/boss in my life. In fact 98% of the people I work with are women. And the other 2%? Well, they are not Rick. Fiction, fiction fiction. . .

So do me a favor. If you know me well, please as you would do with any book you read, lose yourself in the characters. Take me out of it. Otherwise it would be weird for you to read it. And if I knew you were putting me in the story I would feel weird about it. It's a novel written by someone you have never met before. K? And if you can't do it - skip reading When it Rains and read In the Weeds instead. There are NO similarities to me in that story other than the main character moving to a small fictional town in Kansas (again, you never see KS in main stream literature and we Kansans get a little excited about it when it does occur).

Happy reading!!!

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