I have talked about the interplay between fact and fiction many times before.
And it seems that much of my writing is anchored in reality, often taking real moments in history that we can relate to and creating stories around those moments; those are the fictional elements. But with care the two threads can be so carefully woven together it’s hard to see where one starts and the other ends.
Meeting people recently, quite a number asked if Eleanor Boone is real and tempted as I was to say, maybe, and leave them to Google it, I had to say: no but many of the people referenced are and I have used the conspiracy theories as part of the fabric of the novel. Although there is so much more of course.
More recently I wrote a short story called Four Minutes in April about three people and three pivotal moments that happen at the same time as we have Radio Blackout for Apollo 13. And I am sure there are other moments waiting to come out. And of course we have the book On This Day, inspired by the short story version of While No One Was Watching that has many stories that do just that. I don’t have a story in this one but I was one of the selectors and editors. I have mentioned it here because if you don’t have it, there are some great stories in there. Take a look at my first ever attempt at a book trailer for it here — maybe have a go at using a real event as a writing prompt?
My reading for the novel took me to many places and moments in history surrounding not only Kennedy’s assassination but also other moments we slap conspiracy theory labels on, some might even say man landing on the moon, Diana’s death, 911 and so on. In fact the interplay between what we call fact and what we call fiction became the focus of my MA and hence I did do a lot of research into conspiracy theories generally and why we need them. I also looked at the obligation writers like myself hold to truth.
I will be delving into all of these when I give my talk at the Rochester Literary Festival in just over a month’s time — my first writerly engagement after my move and if anyone is down in or near Kent please please do some along! I will also give readings from my novel and talking about that too!
Buy your tickets using the link provided — I hope you also share this with anyone who you think would like to come! The more the merrier, don’t leave me talking to an empty room!
Well, work calls so more soon!