How much of fiction is autobiography? That’s a question often asked of those of us who write contemporary YA. Are we living out our teen angst on the page? Are the stories we tell pretend…or real?
And, of course.
And, not at all! Stephen King says, "Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.”
I can’t speak for others but, for myself, fiction is an act of creatively pulling together my experiences, my dreams, things I worry about, things I am proud of, things I observe and wonder at, and every other element that is me, into a form called a verse novel.
My first book, AUDITION, was about a dancer. I grew up a ballerina and, sure, snippets like how to pin up a bun and sew ribbons onto pointe shoes all came from first-hand experience. Yes, I did suffer from shin splints. No, I did not take up with a choreographer. Yes, I have danced some of the variations I describe in the novel. No, I was never a Snowflake in the Nutcracker. Writing this novel was an exploration of many of the feelings and concerns I had as a young dancer writ large, on a much more dramatic edge than I ever really lived. Ah, the freedom of the pen!
SO, about DAISY, the main character in THE SOUND OF LETTING GO…
I was about to say that she is not as close to me as Sara, my first protagonist. But that wouldn’t be true. It’s just a different kind of connection. Different threads. Different angles of perception. No, I do not play the trumpet. No, I do not have an autistic brother. However, yes, I did grow up in a small town. And, yes, I have a family member with psychological issues—though, not autism.
Because Daisy is a musician, I listened to a lot of music while writing her character. Here are a few songs that connect me to her: http://thesoundoflettinggo-daisy.blogspot.com/
And, culled from paparazzi photos, a few images of the sort of girl I imagine when I tell her story:
Stasia Ward Kehoe’s second novel, THE SOUND OF LETTING GO is available now from AMAZON, B&N, INDIEBOUND and wherever books are sold. She also spends too much time on Pinterest where, if you’re so inclined, you can see her celebrity-dream-cast for all of the characters in THE SOUND OF LETTING GO.
ENTER TO WIN…a signed first edition of THE SOUND OF LETTING GO, one of four different TsoLG Swag Packs, or a pair of author-designed custom Keds sneakers (size 8):
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