Credibility & Fiction

Wait! What? How in the heck do the two of those things go together?


CREDIBILITY: noun

the quality of being trusted and believed in.

FICTION: noun

literature in the form of prose, especially short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people.


Well, they do seem a bit contradictory. The thing is that most fiction has an anchor in reality which means there are nuggets of truth that must exist in order for the untrue or made up parts to be believed. As an author I take those parts pretty seriously. When I was writing paranormal fantasy stories I still did my homework on magic and witchcraft. I wrote from a place of understanding how things might possibly be based on particular beliefs that were already in my "real" society. When Caislyn casts a circle in Birthrights and goes through the process of sending out her request to the beyond, it's all real, or as real as you believe it to be. Research went into those scenes. To Ride a Silver Broomstick by Silver Ravenwolf and many other books and resources (including going to coven meetings with a local Wiccan group) were a massive help when writing about a magical world that I wanted to feel absolutely real! That is one example of me being able to site my research sources. I don't always site them though, because they're not always for public consumption.


When I started writing about certain lifestyles - the motorcycle club lifestyle especially - I also did my research about that. I don't always point my readers to the research I have done, because some of it frankly isn't your business! It's club business! 😉 I say that with a lot of cheek but seriously I mean it. I have friends and family involved in the MC lifestyle (some in one percenter clubs others in riding clubs). You'll see a lot of that knowledge come out in the S.H.E. Series when I discuss club structure and how the women of SHE formed their club as well as the different aspects of it. What you won't see is me telling you who gave me that information, which organization they belong to, or why those things are the way they are. I am not a journalist, but I still have sources that need to be protected, because they shared far more than they probably should have. In that respect I also would never disclose the names of those clubs or those individuals.


When I write about rock stars - I've never been a rock star, but I've met quite a few over the years. I've also known a lot of small-time musicians who simply love to play smaller venues instead of becoming stars (whether because they couldn't or didn't want to). With all those people I've met over the years I've kind of been that annoying twit who doesn't hesitate to ask them all silly questions! Guess why I've done that? Yeah, buddy, research all the way! Because who doesn't love bad-ass rockers? 😉


I'm 43 years old. *shock, gasp* I've done a lot, seen far more, and lived a pretty eventful life. All of it has been, in a way, research into things I put in my books. Breathless (Death Viewers 1) was about a woman who works with the police to help solve crimes (paranormally). Guess who actually has a background in law enforcement and corrections? You betcha! This girl does! In Inferno (Death Viewers 2) Lacey ends up dealing with a pyromaniac serial killer (this book is coming out this year-finally). Guess who used to be a fireman? Well, no! Not me! I did used to date one or two though! hahaha Anyway, I would advise against calling authors out on not doing their research, because 1) you don't actually know the life they've lived behind those books you're reading and 2) sometimes it's you who has it wrong (whether you realize it or not). If they blatantly got something that is verifiable wrong - then okay - blast away. When I say blatantly got it wrong, I'm talking about things like: the time I read a book and the author had the main characters drive from the mountains of North Carolina to the ocean in less than an hour. The state is REALLY wide - it takes around 8-10 hours to drive to the beach from the mountains where I live. Heck yeah, call an author out on not doing their research in that respect. Either that, or tell them they needed to describe that hover-jet-car better! 😉

As an author, I don't care if you hated my book! Seriously - not every book is for ever person! I don't care if you hated my writing style. Again - we all like what we like and hate what we hate. Calling into question a person's credibility is another thing altogether though. Stating that I didn't do my "homework" is definitely questioning my credibility.


So, I'm taking a moment to explain something that is very important for people to understand. Just because you read it in a book, saw it on TV, or hell - lived it, doesn't mean that it didn't or doesn't happen in other ways in other places.


Do you get that?


Here's what that statement means... some people can go to high school and never be bullied (lucky you, whoever you are). Other people experience the worst bullying you can possibly imagine. The type of stuff that leaves scars - not always physical, but sometimes those too. The person who has never been bullied is quick to state "that doesn't really happen" because they've never experienced it. Your experience doesn't make someone else's less true though. The fact of the matter is, we are all human, and a part of that human equation is living out different experiences. I really hate blanket generalizations that state things like, "that would never happen..." Well, you can't actually say that accurately.


Now, I'm going to bring things back around full circle. The Other Princess was written about a little girl who grows into a woman in an environment where the people who should love her let her down. They all have their own reasons for why they let her down, and some are based on their own personal experiences and biases they brought to the table. This book was fiction, but as many people have pointed out, it could be anyone's story. The feeling of being let down by others, the feeling of being less than, or just outright tormented for things you have no control over are universal to most people. On the flip side, we've all seen how mob mentality works. Take a step back into history and look at the Salem Witch Trials, for example. Grown adults, who were supposedly God-fearing and morally sound individuals, literally killed men and women by hanging and burning them, because mob rule won out based on what started as one accusation someone made. If you think, for a minute, that the events that happened in The Other Princess can't happen, or can't happen in an MC then think again. Look into history. I didn't make this stuff up. Well, I mean, I did make up this particular story, but literally it is based on many cases of mob mentality, bullying, and family dysfunction. No particular group of people is immune to the failings of human beings. The entire point of the story was to put a spotlight on our human flaws, how we fail one another, and how forgiveness isn't something that can be given on request. It is something that is earned through action, time, and healing. It's not just a word to be handed out, and suddenly all is better.


So, if you felt that the book didn't live up to your expectations simply because something like this could never possibly happen in real life - especially in an MC environment - then I suggest you start reading some history books or talking to people who will actually tell you the truth! 😉 Also, you can simply say you didn't like it and move on to something that you fall in love with! PLEASE KEEP READING BOOKS! I don't care who wrote them! Books are everything! BUT watch questioning people's credibility though, because that is something not easily overlooked and that tends to be taken a bit more seriously. Also, do remember, it's FICTION - which means it's all made up anyway! So, by definition it's not supposed to be real. 😜 Okay, I'm hopping off my soapbox now! I hope you all have a fantastic day. Now, go read a book! They're good for the soul. xoxo,

Christine


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