Fact or Fiction?

My last blog ended with a question from a person who had just read my new novel, Getting Right. He wanted to know whether the book was fiction or memoir. I believe that it’s a novel, although I understand why the question comes up.

As I previously wrote, there is a factual basis for the story in Getting Right—my brother and sister both died of cancer, and they were prototypes for the characters Len and Connie. Some of the other family members who appear also have prototypes in the “real” world. But I also wrote about how I made a conscious effort to create the characters I did and the narrative world they inhabit. So, in the end, Getting Right has autobiographical elements for sure, but the important thing for me, as a writer, was to explore how memory and imagination interplay in fiction, rather than tell a “true story.”

I have many friends, writers among them, who say that the pandemic has at some point brought their physical, emotional and psychological lives to a standstill. I believed them. I have sympathy for them. Fortunately, everyone I know about has recovered to a more or less functional life. 

Strangely enough, I had the opposite experience, once I adjusted to the fact that the pandemic was not going to end immediately, I began one of the most productive periods of my writing career. First, I finished my novel, THE NARROW WINDOW, which is now ready to send out. Next, I brought together the short fiction I had published over the years into three collections, the first of which I finalized and submitted it to Adelaide Books. It was published to my delight on July 29, 2022, and is available from Adelaide Books, Amazon and, through order, from your local bookstore.

So, being the natural hermit I am, the pandemic fired rather than dampened my writing life. I am most grateful.  (Oh, one last thing:  I recently succumbed to COVID like lots of other people but had only mild symptoms, from which I have fully recovered.  Whew.)