Monday, December 23, 2019
The book launch party was held in the park where Hubby and I winter. Some very good friends handled the arrangements, and attendance went way beyond my expectations (though I did learn from my first few book launches to order more books than I think I can possibly sell). Since the party I've heard good things about the book, and quite a few people came by to pick up copies as Christmas gifts.
The funniest part is everyone trying to figure out who's who in the book. "When I finish it," one guy told me when we passed his place on our walk, "you have to tell me if I guessed who all the people are." A woman claims she knows who Ron and Julie "really" are, because we know a couple with similar names and the man had knee replacement. And one woman told me she found herself: "I'm the crazy woman who stays inside all day." I love that people are so into the book that they do that.
An author often starts with a "character type," and of course there are qualities from real people in those types. But I don't know any murderers personally (I don't think), so I couldn't write if I didn't make stuff up. As soon as a "type" becomes a character in a book, he or she becomes someone all his own, for the very good reason that I write stories, not biographies. I mix types together, exaggerate some of their foibles, and change their looks, their sex, or their background. There are folks who love to spread gossip in any group, and they often make up what they don't know for certain. That's the starting point for Hank, but his purpose as a character is to move the story along. He might seem familiar, but he won't be someone you actually know.
A good thing happened recently: a friend sent me a story of an exchange she overheard in a restaurant in Michigan. Heart-warming and a little sad, it fired my imagination, and her story became a catalyst. Soon bits and pieces of plot that had been circulating in my brain began forming a story that goes on from this one. So there will be a second Trailer Park Tale, as yet unnamed. And there will be more spousal griping on both sides, because face it: anyone who's been married any length of time at all has a million of those!