That line, “I make things up and write them down,” used to be my short bio somewhere–maybe it was Facebook, back before my Facebook page was a part of my ONLINE PRESENCE. But it’s true. That’s what I do. In a few minutes, October 18 will be here, and my debut novel, Lowcountry Boil, will be a month old. The last month has flown, and it’s been so incredibly wonderful I get teary-eyed just thinking about it. We’ve taken lots of photos, and the web gurus are making a special page for them. (This is my first post on the new website, and I’m trying not to blow it up.) My guess is that for most authors, the launch of a first novel is all cupcakes, champagne, friends, and fireworks. Okay, there were no fireworks, but my brother-in-law fired his cannon. I digress.
Because I have been blessed beyond the imagination of most normal folks in the colorful family department, my relatives simply do not believe they are not in the book. Some of my friends are convinced they must be in there, too. On several occasions over the last month, as we’ve celebrated this milestone various family members and friends have pulled me aside and asked, “Who am I in the book?”
I’ve explained to them individually and in groups, that I write fiction. Murder mysteries. Every single one of them has had the exact same response. They nod, smile, nudge me, and say, “No, really. Who am I?” The ones who have read the book will say something like, “I’m Merry, right? I mean, you had to change things and all, but that’s me, right?” And I hate to disappoint them, so I just shake my head, meaning, “No,” but knowing full well that they are interpreting that as my expression of awe that they figured it out.
These people, who I adore with all my heart, are fully aware of what rich fodder they provide me. They cannot believe I would let their exceptional eccentricities go undocumented for posterity. And yet I do, and here’s why: I write murder mysteries. So far, no one in my extended family or circle of friends has committed a murder and shared this information with me. Also, if one of them got mad at me, they could sue me. This, while not likely, is within the realm of the conceivable.
It’s fiction, y’all. But boy, howdy, if I ever decide to write a memoir, there will be happy people in the Carolinas.
Y’all take care,