Friday, August 17, 2012

Tate Hallaway: How Blurry is the Line Between Real Life and Fiction?



Here’s something scary that I bet you didn’t want to know – in some states it takes almost no qualifications to become the coroner or medical examiner.

Yep, it’s true.

Go ahead, Google it.  I’ll wait.

Did you read this bit on Wikipedia?  “As of 2004, of the 2,342 death investigation offices in the United States, 1,590 are coroners offices. Of those, only 82 serve jurisdictions of more than 250,000 people.  Qualifications for coroners are set by individual states and counties in the U.S. and vary widely. In many jurisdictions, little or no training is required, even though a coroner may overrule a forensic pathologist in naming a cause of death. A coroner may be elected or appointed. Some coroners hold office by virtue of holding another office: in Nebraska, the county district attorney is the coroner; in many counties in Texas, the Justice of the Peace may be in charge of death investigation; in other places, the sheriff is the coroner.”

It’s a little spooky, isn’t it?  However, it was this bit of information that inspired me to create Alex Connor.  She’s a troubled medical school dropout in desperate need of employment.  A chance comes up for her to run for the office of coroner in Pierre, South Dakota, and she ends up with the job.

For Alex, the other “exciting” part of the job is that almost no one dies of suspicious death in Pierre, South Dakota.  In the last two years, their homicide rate was zero.  (Another bit of truth in my fiction.  Go ahead, check it out.)

But, of course, what fun would an urban fantasy novel be if it was entirely based on truth??!  That’s where the zombies come in, the magical tattoo, and… the hottie dragon.  Yeah, just wait until you meet him.  What Alex doesn’t know is that she already has, and that her life as always been full of magic… not just truth and real life.

What are some of your favorite moments where “truth” intersects fiction?  Share your thoughts here in the comments section and Five winners will each receive a copy of Precinct 13!!

Tate Hallaway
PRECINCT 13 (forthcoming!)
ALMOST TO DIE FOR (NAL Trade 2010)
ALMOST FINAL CURTAIN (NAL Trade 2011)
ALMOST EVERYTHING (Feb. 2012)

***Tate's winners are: Eli Yanti, Lory Lee, Na, Megblog and Laney4! Please email totebag@authorsoundrelations.com with your full name and mailing info.  Thanks!***

12 comments:

  1. Don't know if this answers your question adequately or not, but here goes....
    I was 39 and both my parents had passed away when I found out I had a different bio father. It was actually the man across the street - a good friend of the family all my life - and all the adults in his family knew it, many townspeople knew it, and I didn't have a clue. Bio dad took me to work with him on my summers off school, he taught me how to cut his grass (but wouldn't let me start the mower), he made me climb on top of his porch roof when I was afraid of heights, he made me learn how to drive when I turned 19, and the list goes on and on. He died when I was 19 (bone cancer; found out the day he buried his mom and died 6 weeks later), my mom died when I was 36, and my dad died when I was 31. There was five years there that my mom could have told me, but she chose not to, perhaps out of embarrassment. I don't know, but I have no doubt that this man was my bio dad; no doubt at all.

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  2. The truths intersecting fiction examples you show are so out of the way. I must admit I am now wondering how many fiction books and I have read were using actual facts that I thought were from author's imagination only. Can't think of an example of truth intersecting fiction.

    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

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  3. Thanks for a fun post! Wow... Doesn't it just goggle the mind when you find out stats like that? I really can't think of any right now w/out googling so I'll have to bow to your Superior obscure fact finding skills :)

    Congrats on the new release! I've already read such awesome prerelease buzz about your book it's been on my wishlist for months!

    efender1(at)gmail(dot)com

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  4. I have heard of many strange things that are actually true! Add in some fiction and things can get really, really interesting. I use google a lot for random facts. Considering the planets we have discovered, I wonder how many more we can find should we build an equipment that can reach that far...and I wonder what we would find?

    Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  5. I know that there are a lot of weird things out there that are true that sound like they shouldn't be and I think that that's what makes them even more amazing.

    Megblod@yahoo.com

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  6. I agree on the many weird things that turn
    out to be true. Just read about a teacher
    going to prison for having intimate rela-
    tionships with students! Didn't they even
    think that the truth would come out at
    sometime! Weird doesn't cover it!!

    Pat C.

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  7. I'm always amazed at the strange laws that are actually on the books. Most of the time they sound made up, but they're real. Like these Florida laws: If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle. Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal. You may not fart in a public place after 6 PM.
    I always wonder just what circumstances arose to cause these laws to be written and why they're kept on the books. :D

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  8. In my reading I love it when writers create wonderful characters & 'drop' them in a momentous time in history.

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  9. Crazy stuff! I love books where the past and the future are woven together. Where laws of gravity are broken and time doesn't exist. As for wacky laws, where do they come up with that stuff?! Who would even pass it through? Must have been a bunch of old farts sitting around drinking beer and getting loaded. LOL!

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  10. Wow, that's pretty unbelievable. In our country, some teachers can actually teach without taking board exams, but only in private schools and there was this incident where our neighbor died of high blood pressure (God bless her soul) at her funeral, her favorite dog actually stayed beside her coffin throughout the funeral, her child told us that the dog never left the place.

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  11. there is great many author doing reseach before writing their book and even take the truth as a part in their book and i love it because i will make me questioning and trying to find it :)

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  12. I did not know that. And I have to admit I am a little freaked out by it!

    Congrats on the release! Im looking forward to reading it.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

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