Welcome to Wednesday Writers! Today’s guest is Carole Brown who will be talking about using real life in your fiction novels. She also has an excerpt from her newest book, Caleb’s Destiny, a clean, inspirational Historical Western Romantic Suspense. Welcome, Carole.
REAL Life in Fictional Novels by Carole Brown
These are some statements authors hear often:
- No way that could be true!
- Listen, I’ve been in the military/police force/medical/law/whatever, and I’m telling you, that didn’t/couldn’t happen.
- Where on earth do you get these crazy ideas?
- Hoping these things don’t happen in real life!
Sorry. They do, and worse.
Writers hear those type of statements all the time. What people/readers sometimes don’t realize:
- we research. Heavily.
- we take our ideas from real life. It’s what creates that sense of being there, of experiencing what our characters are going through.
- we interview people. Which helps us in developing our own characters
- we watch/read the news. This gives us ideas of how to create new situations and tension in our books.
How can we use true life events in our novels?
- I got the idea for With Music in Their Hearts from an older gentlemen who wrote a short story about a man who served as a civilian spy during WWII. It was said the author was the man, but he never admitted to it. Whether true or not (and I lean toward true), it made for a great plot for my first WWII novel.
- Take my debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman. My husband came up with the plot of an abused woman seeking revenge over the death of a daughter. Lots of men go after revenge, and some women do too. But to stand up in a cult situation? The idea came from a certain cult in a certain state several years ago. Did the idea pan out? I think so, with the book finaling in several contests and becoming an Amazon bestseller in different categories numerous times. Lifelike enough, I’d say.
- And then there’s my newest novel: Caleb’s Destiny. Years ago, my family and I worked with the Native Americans in New Mexico and Arizona. One of our excursions included a trip up a mountain with a older man named Jeb so that he could take us gold panning. Now our experience is not the same as the men in Caleb’s Destiny experienced, but it gave me the excitement of looking for gold, the sense of the land, and the feel of what it could have been like in the 1800s.
So, yes, real life is full of extraordinary things that we, as writers can and do use in our books. Never doubt that yes, that could, maybe, probably did happen somewhere to someone.
Where does this leave us? Right at the door that reads: Truth is stranger than fiction. And in a nice spot where we can smile at the skeptics and say, “You never know!”
by Carole Brown
Mr. Michael, Destiny Rose McCulloch, and Hunter have a mysterious history. Why were three fathers, all business partners, murdered under suspicious circumstances while on their quest to find gold?
Hunter, who is Mr. Michael’s ranch manager, is determined to find the answers and protect the precocious young lady who he suspects holds a key answer to his questions.
Mr. Michael wants only to be left alone to attend to his property, but what can he do when Destiny refuses to leave and captures the heart of everyone of his employees?
Destiny almost forgets her quest when she falls in love with Mr. Michael’s ranch and all the people there. And then Mr. Michael is much too alluring to ignore. The preacher man back east where she took her schooling tried to claim her heart, but the longer she stays the less she can remember him. She only came west to find a little boy she knew years ago. A little boy all grown up by now…unless, of course, he’s dead.
Book Excerpt from Chapter Six
After he settled into a seat across from her, he picked up his fork and looked at her. “Dig in.”
She hated it, but her cheeks were heating up again. “Do you mind…?”
“Mind?” His first bite headed toward his mouth. “If you eat?”
Why hadn’t she just said a silent, quick prayer? “Uh, I’d like to say a prayer. I’ve grown used to doing it at sch—uh, home.” And Richard had always insisted on it.
He dropped his fork. “Of course. Go ahead.”
Closing her eyes, she pressed her hands together. “Heavenly Father, we ask for your beautiful—I mean, bountiful blessings on our snack—breakfast, uh, tonight.” Destiny wanted to sink through the floor. She, who was the epitome of gracefulness at school; she who wanted to impress this confident man, was stumbling like a drunken cowboy. Whispering a “Father, forgive me” for butchering what should have been a simple prayer, she hastened to finish it. “Thank you for Mr. Michael’s hospitality, and help us to further our friendship.”
Ugh. He’d think she wanted something more than friendship. Destiny cringed and refused to glance at him. “Amen.”
Had that been a snicker? Surely not. She picked up her fork and shoved a tiny bite of egg in her dry mouth. She chewed and swallowed, but the former delicious-looking omelet refused to go down. She reached for her coffee and felt the food slide down with the coffee.
“Tell me, Miss McCulloch—it is Miss?”
He was laughing. She could hear it in his voice without even seeing his face. Her appetite vanished just as her temper kicked in. “It is Miss McCulloch to you, Mr. Michael, and I’ll thank you not to laugh at me.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it.” And this time his voice was serious.
Want to read more? You can find Caleb’s Destiny at Amazon
About the Author:
Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?