From Fact to Fiction!

Events, experiences and places inspire authors to create award-winning stories

All writing carries some facts and experiences of an author even when the story is based on anything but real life. However, many books bring a great deal of reality into the story. True life can be the basis of mysteries, thrillers, romances, and of course, historical fiction.  Here at Fact to Fiction, we will share with you events and experiences that were or might have been inspirations for award-winning stories!

Meet Deborah Lynn our From Fact to Fiction editor who will be sharing with you fun and interesting inspirations for some of our award-winning books-

Hi All!
Besides beta reading and editing I’ve been married 55 years and am a mom to two grown children and a grandmother (they still choose to call me “Ohma!”) to two almost-grown young men. I started college very late but now hold a Master’s in Clinical Social Work. I exercise because I have too. We’ve been lucky enough to extensively travel. My hobbies are painting, gardening, voraciously reading everything I can get my hands on about English medieval history, science generally/quantum physics specifically and sci fy. Currently, I am working on a 2nd soccer t-shirt quilt for my 2nd grandson who’s graduating high school and going on to college this year. Woo-Hoo!
Deborah Lynn

The Hobo Family

During the Great Depression, Maddy Skobel, my main character in Line by Line, reacts to her first real Thanksgiving dinner.  Maddy is a hobo who has been welcomed into the home of Phillipe and Francine Durrand: That afternoon, as I watched Phillipe carve a whole turkey, I thought about families.  In New Harmony, my family’s Thanksgiving Day never looked like the illustrations in Harper’s Weekly or the Saturday Evening Post. . .  I had never been part of a dinner where just one big, plump, stuffed and roasted golden brown turkey with drumsticks was brought to the table whole and served at one time. I thought about how there were two kinds of families: the ones made up of people related by blood, which you’re automatically part of, like it or not, and the families you choose for yourself.  Today Francine and Phillipe chose to include me.  I knew I was lucky, because there was a very large hobo family out there that didn’t have enough to eat. Because Maddy was a hobo, I needed to research how hobos lived—and survived—the Great Depression.  That quest took me to Britt, Iowa, where the National Hobo Convention has convened each August for…

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Thanksgiving in the New-Found Land

“Thanksgiving?” Matthew looked at his wife, standing with both her hands deep in an oversized pumpkin. “Yup. Puritan tradition – should go down well with a Presbyterian such as you.” She grinned and picked up a second pumpkin. Matthew raised his brows. “There’s a difference.” “I’m sure there is. Compared to the Puritans, you Presbyterians are the life and soul of the party.” Matthew snorted. Discussing theology with his strange time-traveller of a wife was an exhausting endeavour. While surprisingly uneducated about religion and faith, she held strong opinions and tended to be quite vociferous in her condemnation of “narrow-minded bigots” – a definition he sometimes suspected she also applied to him. Not that he considered himself to be a bigot – if nothing else, twenty years with this remarkable woman as his wife had broadened his outlook. “Party?” he therefore said, ignoring her little jibe. “Are we to have a celebration?” “A big one, tomorrow.” Alex wiped her hands on her apron. “All of us round one table.” She looked at the kitchen table. “Not sure if we will fit, though.” “Aye, we will.” He would, at any rate, as no one would dare to take his chair. She…

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Moi Name’s Jenno

‘Allo ev’rybody…! Moi name’s Jenno; leastways, that’s wot most o’ moi friends call me, so Oi reckon as ‘ow yew can call me that an’ all. Actually, moi name is Jean Bryce. Moi mum calls me Jeanie, ‘cept when she calls me “Jean”. But cripes, when she does that, Oi gotta look out, ‘cos it means she’s real cross wiv me. Oi live in a village in England called Widdlington. It’s quite a big village taken all-together, only it’s cut inter two parts by a river an’ a railway going through the middle. Each part ‘as got its gangs. The part, wot we call “The Street” is real old. It were started by the Vikings about 1200 years ago. It’s got two gangs. The new part, wot is where Oi live, were mostly built along Pepper Mill Lane when the railway came. It’s got two gangs an’ all. Each gang ‘as got a territ’ry, an’ nobody ‘ad better go alone inter the territ’ry of anovver gang, ‘cos that’s jus’ plain askin’ fer trouble. Oi’m talkin’ about the kids, o’corse, ‘cos the grown-ups ‘ave got ovver sorts o’ gangs, wot ‘ave ter do wiv political parties, or sport, or religion an’…

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Inspired by Halloween

By J.B. Hawker - B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree The first book I ever published was inspired by Halloween. One warm October day, my son and I were taking a walk around our small Northern California town, enjoying the weather and the Halloween decorations popping up in the neighborhoods. Passing by a particularly grisly tableau, with imitation body parts and fake blood galore, I commented on how easy it would be for a serial killer to get rid of his victims’ bodies by inserting them into such displays. “That’s a great idea for a book, Mom. You should write it,” my son said. So, I did... The book, Hollow, takes place in the imaginary Northern California mountain town of Clark’s Hallow. My working title was Halloween Hollow, but I liked the ambiguous sound of the one word: Hollow. The main character, Bunny Elder, is recently widowed after many years of marriage to a minister. The book is written from a Christian perspective and includes scripture quotes at the heading of each chapter. I didn’t label it Christian Fiction when it first came out, but after a reviewer accused me of trying to trick readers into reading a Christian work by simply calling it…

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The One that Got Away

By Annie Whitehead B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree It’s the time of year when students go off to college/university, and I’m casting my mind back to my own student days ... The Anglo-Saxon world which I studied was rather testosterone-fueled: kings whacking seven bells out of each other, male priests sermonising and occasionally fighting, and of course, those marauding invaders. No matter - I loved the subject when I was an undergraduate, and I still do. As much as I enjoyed my studies, I’d had a yearning to be a writer, and during those lectures, plans were forming. Some names and characters interested me more than others, and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to write about them. But one name really stood out. And this person had no testosterone. We were studying one of the first pieces of propaganda; a document designed to show off its subject in the best possible light - a real piece of spin. It was commissioned by this same high-ranking person and the rewards of studying it lie in what it glosses over or hides as much as in what it reveals. Queen Emma:  married to not one, but two kings. Mother to not one,…

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Non-Fiction and The Brothers Path

Martha Kennedy Author of indieBRAG Medallion Honorees, Martin of Gfenn and Savior It’s estimated that as many as 20,000 Swiss emigrated to America before 1820, bringing not only their hard-working, flesh-and blood-selves, but religious and political philosophies that influenced what this nation became. I knew nothing about any of this until, at the suggestion of a Swiss reader of Martin of Gfenn, I began researching my own family tree. There I met the Schneebelis. At the time, I was in the midst of writing Savior, the story of a 13th century Swiss family, very minor nobility, living in a castle-fort near Affoltern am Albis in the Canton of Zürich. I based the setting of my story on a hillside and castle ruin I’d seen on a hike with a friend. I was dumbfounded when, in the midst of “finding my roots,” I found that my own ancestors had lived on that very hillside and in that very castle-fort. Even more creepy, the people in my family had the same names I’d given the characters in my story. OK, it’s true that there were not many names used in those places in the 13th century (boys were usually Rudolf, Hugo, Conrad,…

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What Influences You To Write?

What influences you to write? Fact to fiction or a moving memoir, life gives us the stories we share. Bill Harper spent fourteen years with the Philadelphia Inquirer as a reporter, writer, and editor. He has written several non-fiction books based on his investigative and personal experiences. This life experience is one no parent would ever wish to experience. Bill's story: On November 23, 1980 my youngest son, 25-year-old Brian Patrick Harper, was murdered in a convenience story holdup. The killer was eventually captured, tried, convicted of second-degree murder, and sentenced to a measly 10-years in a Minnesota state prison. For Brian's parents, his two brothers and three sisters, he was gone forever. The killer got $26 in the store holdup and a paltry 10-year sentence (with time-off for good behavior). That injustice has been stuck in my craw ever since. Shortly after the 25th anniversary of Brian's death, and having read of many other injustices in the legal system, I started researching material for what would become "Brian's book," which was titled An Eye for an Eye: In Defense of the Death Penalty. Because no traditional publisher would touch the subject from that point of view, "Brian's book" was…

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Foriegn Market for your Work

  Tui Allen, Author of the B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree Ripple, shares her experience in entering foreign markets- Why might you want to publish in a foreign language, considering the extra barriers it presents? First of course to increase the size of your market – that's obvious. But it's possible there may be foreign markets which are more receptive to your particular book than the English-language market is. New Zealander Mary Scott, wrote romances set on remote NZ farms, back in the mid-1900s. They did well at home in NZ, but sold even better in translation in Germany. Germany was a bigger market of course, but her authentic tales of a life so different from their own experience, fascinated her German readers. But she had her publishers to arrange it all. What if you are self-published as so many of us are today? I know another author who self-published an excellent novel in English. He wanted the book to reach the German market. The author himself had a fair grip on German, but it was not his native tongue, so he hired a friend, a native German speaker, to translate the book for him. The translation seemed okay as far as he…

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Continuing Jane Austen’s world

  Continuing the love! Jane Austen remains one of the most popular authors ever! The romance of her novels and the strength of her woman characters endear her to woman around the world. 60 films have been made or have been inspired by her works including the very popular "Clueless".Jane's life has been analyzed by so many. How much of her writing was influenced by her life? Well, isn't that usually the case? Jane Austen wrote about class and love – both things she knew well. Her one and only love was taken from her because her family had little to offer. She was also strong enough to forgo a marriage that would have brought her a very comfortable life but not love. The strength and closeness of her family comes to light in much of her writing. Even during an illness that eventually took her life, Jane continued to write leaving one unfinished work. Her loving family was able to get both Northanger Abbey and Persuasion published after her death. Her beloved brother, Henry, was able to his sister buried at the Winchester Cathedral.Jane Austen's' writing features love of family and Karen Aminadra has created 2 wonderful books continuing…

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Searching for the Golden Hinde by David Wesley Hill

                                                                  "The Golden Hinde off New Albion"by Simon Kozhin, oil on canvas, 2007. Little is known about the Golden Hinde even though she is one of the most famous sailing vessels in maritime history. No one can say for sure if she was built in England or if she was a prize of war. Originally christened the Pelican, she was the flagship of the small fleet in which Francis Drake and 164 men, gentlemen, and sailors embarked from Plymouth, England in 1577 on the three-year adventure that would become the second successful circumnavigation of the world—and one of the most profitable pirate voyages of all time. Drake changed the name of the Pelican to the Golden Hinde just before the fleet entered the Straits of Magellan in late August, 1578. He did so "in remembrance of his honorable friend and favourer," Sir Christopher Hatton, a major backer of the expedition and an intimate of the queen, since Hatton's family crest was a "hind trippant or." Drake felt the need to flatter Hatton because he feared the lord—one of his employers—would be displeased with him upon learning that Drake had executed Thomas Doughty in July for reasons that are…

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