We’ve just added Lyn Coffin’s The First Honeymoon: New and Selected Stories to the Goodreads Giveaways list. It still needs to be approved so it isn’t live yet, but we wanted to tell you about it right away so you’d be ready to pounce the moment it is. We’ll post an update when the giveaway goes live. If you like to participate in that kind of thing, you can then head over to Goodreads and enter the giveaway. This is our first time doing this, so we’re learning right along with you. As we understand it, it’s competitive — that is, you and others enter the giveaway and Goodreads, using algorithmic magic, picks the winners (I hope it’s you!).
If you do enter and you do get a copy, we humbly ask that you write a review of the book. You don’t have to, and if you don’t like it you probably have more pressing things to do 😉 But, in all seriousness, if you feel so inclined we’d be grateful.
Keep your eyes on this blog, we’ll post again as soon as
Once upon a time (Monday), Iron Twine Press published a new book (The First Honeymoon: New and Collected Stories, by Lyn Coffin) and the world caught fire with excitement. No, not really, but we were excited—no lie, it’s a damn fine book, you’ll enjoy it if you’re a reader who appreciates fine crafted writing, the play of language, the clever image, tongue-in-cheek humor, and unabashed offerings of wisdom—”Life as we know it is always coming to an end”; “the farsighted swim in irony-infested waters”; “Moral: there is none (Fables usually have morals, people usually don’t)”—all within the comfortable confines of good stories. In our excitement to share, we posted excerpts of two of the stories, and Lyn (the aforementioned author) posted links to those excerpts on her Facebook page. Minutes later: outrage! hurt! scandal!
It seems one of the stories we excerpted is based on actual events and a real human person in the world at large, a person who participated in the non-fiction events now fictionalized in the excerpted story took umbrage over the story being told at all. Sore aggrieved this person was. Super pissed. No one wants to see anyone’s feelings get hurt. But it got us to thinking about a few truths about fiction:
Most fictional stories draw from real life. Many times the true event is just a jumping-off point. I’ve written a story about the home-invasion robbery I endured, for example. But in my story every single thing that happens after the robbery is made up. I wanted to see what would happen if my protagonist, faced with the same experience I had, then made the opposite choices from the ones I had made.
As readers we take it all as fiction, if we’re told it’s fiction. But if you’re the person who lived through the events that figure in the fictional account, you can feel exposed even though the readers most likely don’t know you’re there.
If you have writers in your life, assume you’re in one of their stories. Go ask your writer “am I in any of your stories?” They will say no. Then sometime later you’ll read one of their stories and you’ll see yourself coming into a paragraph with a different name to ask “am I in one of your stories?” We are all raw materials in writers’ workshops.