Posted by: harrisonjones | April 22, 2011

That’s not true…

Duh…it’s a novel. Of course it’s not true, it’s fiction. When I do public book signings, someone invariably asks me if the book is true. The next question is always, “Why do you write fiction?” The official answer is that I enjoy exercising my imagination, but the truth is it’s an opportunity to legally and ethically prevaricate. I can embellish without guilt. I can create characters and mold their personality. I control what they say and do and I can punish, reward or exact revenge at will.  

I am not without supervision, however. I once killed a character in mid-novel and my wife (Love of my Life) moved my Teddy Bear to the couch until I edited the lady back to life. So much for artistic license.  

Another question is, “Where do you find your characters?” Sometimes they’re loosely based on a real person, sometimes they are a combination of real people, and sometimes they are totally made up. In order to characterize, I simply observe people in their natural environment. I note their posture, how they walk, facial expressions, mannerisms, how they dress, how they express themselves etc. I once followed an attractive lady through the grocery store, noting traits for characterization. When we got home, Love of my Life domiciled my Teddy Bear on the couch again. Creativity does not come without a price.  

Another question I often get is, “Can my twelve year old read the book?” The answer is yes. I am not offended by R rated books or movies and real life is what it is, but I choose to write in G. My books are not about kids, they’re written with an aviation oriented adult audience in mind, but if a kid reads them, I hope their imagination will be stimulated in a positive way.  

Okay, what shall I write about this afternoon? What if…what if the Civil War had been fought with J3 Cubs with 85 horsepower engines? Let’s see…as the smoke cleared, a yellow blur emerged low and…

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