Writers are always asked "Is it real?" "What part of it is based on your life?" "Did you actually DO all the stuff in your book?"
Yes. And no.
A lot of my forthcoming novel for young readers, GLORY BE, is based on things I know about. Since it's historical fiction (the kind that has a central historic event attached to it, as opposed to the kind that just happened in the past...Click here for that discussion.), much of it is also based on research.
Yes, I grew up in a little town in Mississippi, and I was in the Pep Squad.
I worked in libraries most of my professional life and know a lot about them.
I once knew a heart-breaker named Robert.
My town flooded and we thought that was fun.
Every Friday when we had a home football game, there was a parade right through the middle of town.
In the town in New Jersey where I lived for a long time and still frequent whenever I can, we still have a July 4th Parade.
In my book, the July 4th parade is a major plot point. The whole time I was writing that section, I thought of parades I'd actually watched, marched in, decorated floats for, and enjoyed. Here are a few pictures from my most recent parade experience. July 4th.
Unlike in GLORY BE, there were no mean boys picking a fight I had to break up. No homecoming queen in a scratchy skirt. I love bagpipers, but believe me, there were none in Cleveland, Mississippi's parades in 1964...
The scene in front of the library, just before the parade marched by.
Lots of old cars. Always.
This picture says it all. Or at least more than I could ever say.
A first for our local parade-goers... Roller Derby comes to Chatham, NJ!
It wouldn't be a parade without Old Soldiers. And happy policemen.
And of course, the Fire Engines.