Sarah Guillory, author of Reclaimed, is stopping by today to share her thoughts on how real life often creeps into fiction yet that doesn't mean the details of a novel directly relate to the life of its creator. Here's what she has to say...
Why Fiction is not Autobiography – And Why it Is
There is truth in fiction. A dozen different writers, wiser than I, have penned this sentence in a dozen different ways. But while there is truth in fiction, that does not mean that fiction is true. Readers often make the mistake of assuming that those who write fiction are actually creating a thinly-veiled autobiography. And while I am not Jenna, or Ian, or Luke, I am all of them. There is also some of me in Vivian and Mops. Writers have to take what they know and use it when creating worlds. It’s why fiction speaks to so many, enriching our lives and expanding our world.
Solitude is a place I made up. I drew a map when I first started writing Reclaimed and I know exactly how it looks. It’s unlike any place I’ve ever been or lived. But it has pieces of all of those places. I grew up in and currently live in a small town, and those experiences helped build Solitude. I know what it’s like to lose someone, and that is in the story. I know what it’s like to want to escape, and what it’s like to find both redemption and reclamation. I’ve made mistakes I want to hide from. I’ve had my heart broken. I’ve fallen in love. My teen experiences, as well as my adult ones, color my writing.
And so does my imagination. That’s the great thing about fiction. You can take what you know of the human experience and apply that to any situation. When writing, I get to be these characters. I get to be all the different people whom I’m never going to get to be in real life. For a little while, they let me step into their lives and become them. It’s not always a pretty place. I put my characters into some tough situations, and the world I’ve created is dark and beautiful and dismal and hopeful. Just like reality.
I want my stories to feel true, to speak to readers and to transport them to different places and different lives. In order for that to happen, I must tell the truest story I can.
Reclaimedby Sarah Guillory
Release Date: Oct. 15, 2013Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Jenna Oliver doesn’t have time to get involved with one boy, let alone two.
All Jenna wants is to escape her evaporating small town and her alcoholic mother. She's determined she'll go to college and find a life that is wholly hers—one that isn't tainted by her family's past. But when the McAlister twins move to town and Jenna gets involved with both of them, she learns the life she planned may not be the one she gets.
Ian McAlister doesn't want to start over; he wants to remember.
Ian can’t recall a single thing from the last three months—and he seems to be losing more memories every day. His family knows the truth, but no one will tell him what really happened before he lost his memory. When he meets Jenna, Ian believes that he can be normal again because she makes not remembering something he can handle.
The secret Ian can’t remember is the one Luke McAlister can’t forget.
Luke has always lived in the shadow of his twin brother until Jenna stumbles into his life. She sees past who he’s supposed to be, and her kiss brings back the spark that life stole. Even though Luke feels like his brother deserves her more, Luke can’t resist Jenna—which is the trigger that makes Ian's memory return.
Jenna, Ian, & Luke are about to learn there are only so many secrets you can keep before the truth comes to reclaim you.
Sarah Guillory is a YA author. In addition, she teaches sophomore English and loves that they pay her to fan girl over books and authors and to watch her students fall in love with the written word. Sarah lives in Louisiana with her husband and ridiculously spoiled bloodhound. Reclaimed is her debut novel.
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