Truth vs. Fiction
The truth really can be stranger than fiction. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “If I wrote that in one of my novels, people would never believe it!” But having said that, one of the joys of writing fiction is that it’s usually more fun than the truth. As the storyteller (or puppet master), I can make things happen for characters that are more immediate, or more intense, or brighter or better or just more interesting than they might be in real life.
For example, how often have you seen the super hot guy with the six-pack abs running down the beach and thought, “I wonder who he belongs to?” Well in OCEAN BEACH, Nicole actually gets to date that guy. How many women do you know that can eat Cheez Doodles without getting fat? Avery Lawford can! And do you know how many people put videos on YouTube hoping to be discovered and offered a network contract? A gazillion. But that’s what happens at the end of TEN BEACH ROAD and what leads Maddie, Nicole, Avery, Deirdre and Kyra into OCEAN BEACH and the creation of a television pilot for a home makeover show called “Do Over”. Could any of these things happen in real life? Sure. And they do. But nowhere near as often as we’d like.
And then, of course, there’s the beauty of elapsed time in novels. In real life, after you lose a job or break up with a guy, or lose all your money in a Ponzi scheme (like the women in TEN BEACH ROAD and OCEAN BEACH), there are days and weeks and months of doing ordinary stuff like going to the grocery store in sweats, cleaning out the refrigerator, and swearing you’re going to start that diet, etc. Days, weeks and even months go by while you’re dealing with the stress and the worry and doing your best to just keep on keeping on. When I write, I can hit the high or low points, give you a taste of what the character is feeling without dwelling on the awfulness and then skip a day or a week or even a month or two in a single bound.
Since OCEAN BEACH is a sequel, this was especially true. Six months of ordinary life take place between TEN BEACH ROAD and OCEAN BEACH, but we rejoin Maddie, Nicole and Avery just when things start to get interesting again. As OCEAN BEACH begins, the women are headed to Miami’s South Beach to shoot the first episodes of what they think is their new television renovation series. But when they first see the long-neglected Art Deco Streamline home they’re supposed to work on, they discover that the network has changed the show’s focus. Do Over is now a 24/7 reality show and the cameras are aimed at them.
Throw in some tabloid worthy baby-mama-drama, an old Vaudeville star with a tragic past and a hidden agenda, a rocky marriage, a lack of money and the aforementioned hot guy with the six-pack abs and you’ll understand why I say fiction is way more fun than truth.
But along with the fun (and no matter what crazy things are happening) in OCEAN BEACH real relationships form, real bonds are tested, real growth happens and real friends turn up when they’re needed the most.
Because while truth may be stranger than fiction, I like my fiction (whether I’m reading or writing it) to be laced with a whole lot of truth.
Have you ever had one of those “this is the stuff of novels” moments? Feel free to share it here, or share it on my Facebook page!