Saturday, April 13, 2013

Truth in Fiction

Blasco Library, Erie, PA

National Library Week is April 14th through the 19th.  I've been invited to talk at our local library as part of 
their celebration.  I’ll confess, I am thrilled.

I’ll be talking about incorporating fact into my fiction.

Here’s the thing, I love including fact in my fiction.  Most of my books are set in, or around Erie.  Why?  Because I love Erie.  I love bringing my hometown onto a national, sometimes even and international stage.  My new series talks about the Lake Erie Wine region.  Yes, I had to do research…lots and lots of arduous research. 

But more than settings, I write about subjects and issues that touch me.  Many of my books have dogs in them.  I have dogs.  I know dogs.  Most days I like dogs.  (My dogs were the stars of my December book, Everything But a Dog…they keep waiting for the PUParazzi to hound them.  Alas, they haven’t been hounded yet.)

So many of my books have babies and kids in them.  I have kids.  I know kids.  Most days I like kids.  


You Are Invited...
SuperRomance, 4/13
I think that’s the most common theme in my books.  Even when there are no kids present, family always is.  Maybe it’s a hero or heroine’s parent(s).  Maybe it’s friends that have gone beyond mere friendship and moved into the realm of family. 

When I’m asked why I write romance, I say, it’s about the relationships.  It’s fascinating to take two people and watch them find their way to each other, overcoming all obstacles in their way…and there are always obstacles.  I make sure of that. (This is where I insert my very evil writer laugh, bwah ha ha.)  But so does's a big element of truth in fiction.

April Showers
SuperRomance, 5/13
I think that’s why family is such an important theme for me…I love watching the dynamics of how those families function and how they impact that hero and heroine’s journey to love.  My new Valley Ridge trilogy is a great example of that family reality in fiction.  In the first book, You are Invited... the heroine loses a friend who is definitely her family.  She needs to form a new family with her friend's children...and the hero.  In the second book, April Showers, the heroine forms a bond with an elderly man.  He starts out as her landlord, then becomes a friend, and finally becomes family, as surely as those people who share her DNA.  And finally, in the third book, A Walk Down the Aisle... Well, if I tell you how I explore family in that one, I'll be giving too much of the story away.  Suffice to say, yep, it's in there.

Going back to my mention of libraries, the heroine in my December book, the fourth Valley Ridge book, A Valley Ridge Christmas, is a librarian.  I’ve been lucky to have so many wonderful librarians who impacted my life.  I wish I remembered all their names, but I do remember the librarians who came on the Bookmobile every few weeks.  They discovered I was a bookworm and would frequently have a book or two stashed away for me.  And then there’s Miss Kitty.  She was the story lady at the children’s library when my kids were growing up.  All four kids remember her with such fondness.
A Walk Down the Aisle
SuperRomance, 6/13

Truth in fiction.  It’s in every one of my books.  Both the comedies and the dramas.  There’s settings.  There’s exploring what a family is and how it functions.  There are even dogs and the occasional cat.   But mainly there’s love.  And at the heart of all my books, that’s the main theme…love.  Love of town.  Love of pets.  Love of family.  Love of that one special person who despite all the odds, you’re destined to be with.



Nini said...

Good morning, Holly. You seem to have your glee up bright and early today! Love the puns and dry sarcasm in the blog. And I remember my first librarian in elementary school. She is the one who got me hooked on reading. I fell in love with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys because of Mrs. Sangi. She also introduced me to every other genre in our 3rd grade library section.

So, Happy Library Week! Hug a Librarian, Media Specialist or author today! :) Have a great day!

Jane Myers Perrine said...

Lovely post, Holly! I know how you love your area--even during the winter, bless your little heart. I pick up your fondness for the area and your pets in every book! I have learned not to allow the dog to die. Readers get angry even if it's an important turning point.

HollyJacobs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Kirkland said...

I've never been to Lake Erie and I do love reading about places I've never been. So thanks for this post.

HollyJacobs said...

Mary, I know I'm biased, but it's a beautiful place. I can leave my house and be at the bay in ten minutes, the peninsula in about twenty, and out to our camp out in the middle of Amish country in a bit more than a half hour. We go to our last traveling Broadway show this week at the Warner's so beautiful!

I hope you get to visit some day!


HollyJacobs said...

Jane, Yes, people do not like if you kill off pets. Uh, the pets don't like it either! LOL And I'm glad my love of the shores of Lake Erie shows...It's really a beautiful region! I love that I get to introduce it to the rest of the world. I have a book out in France this month, and one coming out in the UK in June. I love that they'll be reading about the region!!


HollyJacobs said...

Nini, My glee tends to be in place frequently. I made a basket last night which really upped the glee factor. I've been crazy busy with writing, and some things have fallen to the wayside. I'm determined to find time for the things I love...hence last night's basket.

I loved Nancy Drew! I'm so glad your Mrs. Sangi kept you supplied in books! I think anyone who takes the time to get kids excited about reading is so very special!


Connie said...

What would we do without our wonderful libraries? I did not know that we’re coming in on National Library Week and appreciate the reminder.

Although I have never been to Erie, PA, I understand that it’s a nice town. Wishing I was there to hear you give your talk. How nice to you to take the time to do that for your community!

All the best!

HollyJacobs said...

Connie, It's great to have an excuse to celebrate libraries! I can't tell you how many librarians stepped into my life and made a difference! I frequently joke that I was raised by Tolkien and others...and it's only a little bit of a joke.

Erie is awesome! I hope you have a chance to come up and visit someday!

Pat Cochran said...

Happy Library Week! Can't remember all
the librarians who have entered my life!
I do remember that my dear friend in
church and in life, librarian Dot Roach,
was a most loved person by all who met her!
God bless all of our librarians!

Pat C.

HollyJacobs said...

Pat, Dot sounds as if she made an impact on a lot of people! That's all anyone can ask for!

And I definitely agree with your last statement!


Mary Preston said...

I still love my visits to the library. Magic places.

HollyJacobs said...

Mary, Ditto for me...absolutely ditto! Erie's old library was up on Perry Square. I remember going in there when I was young. It had the beauty of age. The new library is down on the Bayfront and is beautiful in it's own way!