Let’s Be Real Here

This topic comes up in just about every interview I’ve been in (whether as the interviewer or the interviewee)…

DO YOU UTILIZE REAL PEOPLE, REAL PLACES, REAL EVENTS IN YOUR WORKS OF FICTION?

Truth is there is always a figment or two (or three or four) of reality in fiction. Whether it be a location the author is familiar with, crafting a character similar to someone you know (it’s fun especially if you don’t like the person), or a message you hope to convey in your writings.

In REKINDLED PROPHECY, I’ll admit that is a lot more truth/reality than you would think in a story about guardian angels, angels, demons, shadow creatures, etc.

  1. I do believe in guardian angels, angels, demons, shadow creatures, ghosts, etc. For me as an author, my own types of characters are 100% real. While the story is a figment of my imagination, I still believe in the truth that these entities exist.

2. The locations in REKINDLED PROPHECY are all based on real places.

The country western bar in the beginning (while with a different name that I do not even remember) did really exist along the Arkansas/Tennessee border. I spent way too much time there during the early 1990s.

The Irish bed & breakfast in rural Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley 100% existed. How do I know? I was married there, underneath the same gazebo Kelly and Matthew were married under. The name was changed in the book since the inn was under foreclosure at the time and I could not get owner approval from the bank to use the name – they said to wait until the property sold and ask the new owners but that never happened.

There really was a koi pond made from a refurbished rectangular pool and the bull frogs were so loud that the innkeeper did leave ear plugs in guest rooms. Sadly, the inn is now closed and for sale if anyone is interested in retirement as an innkeeper.

Even the area of town in Washington, DC where Greylyn goes to find the psychic and battles a demon army – yep! 100% described based on real life knowledge of DC.

3. I may have based a few characters off my friends at the wedding party in the book. And yes, they were known as the “Sex and the City” girls as a joke. And of course, the lovely innkeeper was based off the innkeeper at the time of my own wedding (again, name and hair color changed). Seriously though, that sweet woman made the best eggs benedict!

4. Greylyn’s pride and joy – her 1968 British racing green Camaro? Well, I just so happen to own one. It’s currently being reconstructed from the inside out by my hubby and youngest son who hopes to one day claim it for his own. (Ain’t gonna happen, sweetie!)

Stock photo

5. The drink Greylyn prefers – the Godfather – is my hubby’s favorite cocktail and the only way I will drink scotch.


Ingredients
60 ml Whisky – Blended Scotch whisky
20 ml Amaretto liqueur

So you see, I like to include a lot of truth in my fiction stories.

For places I have not gone to, I research and even find native residents of the location to give me tidbits so I can describe the area accurately. While I have not gone to Ireland yet myself (it is at the top of my bucket list) but I was lucky enough to find a sweet lady originally from one of the areas in Book 3 of the series (which is mostly set in Ireland, and Hell but I haven’t met anyone from there yet). She spoke with me at length about Dun Laoghaire and sent me pictures of the local pier. She even suggested I add something about a 99 (which is Irish for soft serve ice cream and is sold on the pier at Teddy’s), which I did.

For me, there should always be a hint of authenticity in every piece of fiction. It makes it more interesting. So whether you are reading my guardian angel stories, or anything else by me, you can trust there will be glimmer of truth in every one.

The fun part is figuring out what’s truth and what is fantasy.

Thanks, dear friends! And I hope you have an amazing Autumn Equinox!

Location! Location! Location!

How many times did I hear that when we were looking to buy a house? But that’s not what we’re talking about today.

When it comes to my writing I’m a stickler for authenticity. Writing fiction gives me a lot of leeway, especially writing fantasy fiction. I can create whole new worlds! It’s fun and exciting. But when it comes to writing real places into my stories…I want it to be spot-on accurate so if the reader finds themselves in that particular location they will recognize it from my stories.

Let’s take Rekindled Prophecy – Book 1 of the Greylyn the Guardian Angel series. For a good chunk of my adult life I lived in Northern Virginia (metro DC). Book 1 includes locations that I am quite familiar with, including the “fictional” bed & breakfast that serves as the main location. Why? Because it was the setting for my own wedding back in 2000.

Therefore, when I wrote those scenes I was confident in my descriptions. If you drove up the winding driveway to a magnificent manor straight out of the pre-Civil War period, perched on top of a high hill, with dark green shingles and a rugged stone entranceway…you’d know you were in “Gaelic Haven”. Although the inn is now permanently closed (and went by another name – Killahevlin when it was in operation), you’d know this was the location of Kelly and Matthew’s wedding, and more importantly…where Greylyn and Kael first kissed (under the gazebo overlooking the koi pond in the back yard) — which happens to be exactly where my hubby and I said our “I Dos”.

Book 2 of the series has a number of familiar locations too — a club in downtown DC that I frequented TOO much as a young twenty-something; the National Cathedral; etc. But there were also places I have never been – for instance (while trying not to give out too much information since the book isn’t released yet): Mount Kailash. Never been there. Probably never will as my bucket list does not include climbing incredibly tall mountains in blizzard conditions. Also, I have a fear of heights so no mountain climbing in my future. But I wanted it to be authentically described so I researched sherpa villages in the Tibetan mountains. Since I’ve never been to one myself, if you have and you read the second book of the series and find discrepancies…please contact me so I can fix it.

For Book 3 (currently under major revisions because I decided to break it out into two books) I drafted the story which takes place almost entirely in Ireland. My lifelong desire is to visit Ireland and the more I research for the book, the more I want to go.

Quick fun story connecting Book 1 and Book 3 – no spoilers, I promise. The inn in Book 1 (real name was Killahevlin). When I recently put in a search online for Killahevlin, I was brought to Killyhevlin – an actual inn in Ireland AND it happens to be EXACTLY the place (county, town, on the same lake) as where our heroine, Greylyn, originally rose from the grave and presumably lived her human life. Coincidence? I knew nothing of the actual Irish inn until this point and now my future vacation plans include staying at Killyhevlin.

Now, where was I? Oh yes! Book 3 locations. I got amazingly lucky to find someone over social media who lived twenty years in the same town that takes up the beginning of the book (not Killyhevlin, someplace else). When I initially wrote the scene it came off more “Coney Island” than what it really was. My informant was able to correct all my nonsense so now the scene is more authentic and that makes me happy. Thank you, Laurine! You’re an angel!

I may write fantasy, but my stories still need to hold their own truth. And part of that lies with LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!


BUT WAIT! There’s more!

You love fantasy fiction, right?
Then you must check out the latest from Katherine Gilbert!
Cursed in White

*****

A lost girl desperate for safety, a wary boy with uncertain loyalties, and comrades who seem more like enemies–can they work together to avoid a paranormal disaster?

When Evan Brendan is forced to chase an escaped gryphon to an island occupied primarily by clueless tourists, a famous lighthouse, and the occasional giant teddy bear left on a motorcycle, he discovers a scared runaway teenager with lightning powers she can’t control. Despite her objections and his better judgment, he takes his father’s advice and recruits her for The Will, the secret organization he’s reluctantly been part of since birth. But what terrible secrets from her past might he be bringing into his well-ordered world?

Suddenly finding herself in a parallel dimension in a mansion complete with a cryptic gryphon, a silent revenant, a disturbing, too-pretty boy who smells like cinnamon, and his quirky feline familiar, Carrie Summerland has to learn to cope with her little-understood powers. But after a nightmarish initiation into this highly-dubious supernatural organization, can she trust these seeming new friends–or her own emotions?

Amid the haunted landscape of Jekyll Island, Georgia, where ancient oak trees drip with Spanish moss and hide the island’s dark past, Evan and Carrie must discover the secrets that The Will and Evan’s father are hiding and dig into the truths of Carrie’s past. With the help of the parkour-loving and occasionally pirate-garbed vampires of Savannah, Georgia, and hindered, helped, or confused by Evan’s past inamorati (a gamine tree nymph and a much-too-flirty succubus), they must find the source of a growing vampire madness and stop whoever is using it to try to take over the world.

On a Katherine Gilbert wackiness scale of 1-to-10 sarcastic talking cats*, this one is a 7.

*Warning: Not all stories contain talking cats. Wackiness may take other forms.

The More in Heaven and Earth series is all set in the same magical universe filled with angels, witches, werewolves, demons, vampires, ghosts, and many other supernatural creatures. They can be read in any order or as stand-alones and will introduce you to a variety of fascinating characters, as they take you to various parts of this unusual earth.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08521TP88/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

For more from Katherine Gilbert, you can find her at the below sites:
Website: http://katherinegilbertauthor.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Katherine-Gilbert-Author-102573417043950/
Amazon author’s page: http://amazon.com/author/katherinegilbert
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/katherine-gilbert
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18141907.Katherine_Gilbert
AllAuthor: https://allauthor.com/profile/katherinegilbert/
Love Romance Reads: https://www.loveromancereads.com/katherinegilbert.html

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Until next time…Virtual hugs to all!
KC