Wednesday, January 24, 2007

ASk the Authors: Wednesday

Is there a novel you want to write but feel a responsibility to wait until certain people in your life have passed on?

Yes! -- Rene Gutteridge
Nope. --Karen Ball
No. -Ann Tatlock
No. -BJ Hoff

Yes. I'd like to write about my grandmother's life but I have one living aunt who disagreed greatly with an older aunt who wanted me to tell the story in a certain way. So I'm thinking maybe I should wait. --Jane Kirkpatrick

No. I have written two books that were closely based on circumstances and experiences from my own life. Beyond the Shadows deals with alcoholism and how it affects the alcoholic's loved ones. The Forgiving Hour deals with infidelity in marriage and the need for the wronged party to forgive. I wrote the books because God called me to write them, and He did not call me to wait to right them. However, the characters became their own persons too and did things that I didn't do and/or that others didn't do to me. I let the novels play out the way they came to me. -- Robin Lee Hatcher

No. I write fiction. --Hannah Alexander

I waited for my parents to pass away before writing Katrina’s Wings, but the story wasn’t fully realized until after they had passed away either. That one was birthed from loss. --Patricia Hickman

Yes. --Brandilyn Collins.

LOL. I'll take the Fifth. --Angela Hunt

You mean the one about my thieving, conniving, lying, stinking....No. - James Scott Bell

I have a finished novel sitting on a floppy disk (which tells you something about its age!) that I decided shortly after writing it, not to submit—at least not yet. It is about a romance between a Holdeman Mennonite (an offshoot of the Old Order Mennonites) and an “outsider.” Because there are many Holdemans in our community (including gentle, elderly next-door neighbors) and because their church would not approve of my conclusions (that faith in Christ, not sharing a denomination, is the only thing necessary for equal yoking) I’ve decided not to walk into that possible controversy with neighbors and friends. –Deborah Raney

No. I've been able to bury any incidents from my own life deeply enough in my fiction that no one living should recognize themselves. -- Liz Curtis Higgs

The short answer is “no.” The longer answer is that I can see two situations in which one might be tempted to wait: to avoid hurting someone, or to avoid getting sued down to the soles of your sweat-socks. The former situation might be that of say, a writer who was an abused child and whose parent sincerely repented of that action and the relationship has healed – waiting in that case can avoid rubbing salt in a wound. But if it’s the latter case, a case of “I’m gonna wait until Jack’s dead so I can fling mud at him”? Well … that just shows a shortage of integrity. – Tom Morrisey


At 12:45 PM, Blogger PH said...

I appreciate what Tom is saying here. I think I was asked that in an online discussion and did emphasize that the arena of fiction gives us room to weigh, to make a claim or argument, or look a little more deeply under the surface of some element of life; but never to vent or disparage another human, alive or passed on. Thanks, Tom and everyone!


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