a reply to: Pinke
Hi, Pinke. Those are great questions.
There was no particular book that inspired me, but some elements of the story will certainly have their echoes in the works of others that I've read.
For example, one of my favorite novels is "Eva Luna" by Isabel Allende. I just love the way she creates scenes and dialogues which are so utterly real
that at times, you almost feel like you're intruding on them as you're reading.
"Charms for the Easy Life" by Kaye Gibbons was another book that affected me deeply. I have read it at least half a dozen times. And every time I do,
I always get a little more from it. Again, it's not just the main theme of the story, it's the characters, the way they interact, and what they feel.
They are completely believable.
Thematically, the only close similarity between my own story and those of Allende and Gibbons is that the main characters are women. Yes, there are
very significant male characters as well, but it's the women in the story and how they relate to each other and those around them that mattered most
to me. I have done my best to present them as people that readers can relate to as well. Laugh with them a little sometimes, perhaps shed a tear with
them. Or for them. And even be surprised by them, as I was at times as I wrote.
I have been influenced by many authors. Men and women, the greats and the relatively unknown. But more than writers, it's been the real people I've
known who have influenced me the most in writing this story. As often happens, to some degree the main characters are composites of characteristics of
people who have either passed through my life and moved on -- either within this world or beyond it -- or are still there today.
So this post doesn't get overly long, I'll write more about how I started writing the story in another post a little later. But for now, I'll close by
saying that yes, I did do quite a lot of research. I had to be sure that what I presented as factual actually was, and even where some other "facts"
are pure invention on my part, they had to gel together with reality. So, I needed to study quite a lot and that took some time. Years, actually. Not
constantly, as life tends to get in the way, but over time, I learned a little and tried to put that knowledge to the best use.
But it's not a book about facts and figures, it's a story of people: their hopes and fears, their loves and losses, their ambitions and dreams. It's
about the best in people and the worst: love, friendship, trust and self-sacrifice versus hatred, a hunger for power at all costs and ego-driven
self-centeredness. People with their eyes open and those who refuse to see what their actions will lead to -- or who just don't care even if they
Anyway, that's enough of my meanderings for now, so I'll leave it there.
edit on 8/3/16 by JustMike because: I had to fix a few little typos and so on.