When real life intersects with fiction

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I had been at work on versions of YOU ARE MY ONLY for several years.  It was, at first, a book that emerged from my fascination with a certain abandoned mental hospital in Philadelphia and the urban explorers who had inhabited that place.  It was, also from the very start, a book about the ramifications of abduction. Long ago, I'd watched a woman leave an infant unattended in a back yard.  That image had always stayed with me; in time, it became fiction.

Yesterday, I was at a client office when, on the TV screen, I saw the muted news about Carlina White, who was 19 days old when she was abducted from a hospital and who, 23 years later, solved her own case.  She reports being moved from home to home, city to city, much as my character, Sophie is.  She speaks of the paranoia of the woman who abducted her, and of the faith her biological family always had that she was still alive.

I had planned to post the cover of YOU ARE MY ONLY yesterday afternoon.  This convergence of real life and fiction is, I find, eerie and haunting.  I am exuberant that Carlina White has found her home.  I am heartbroken that she had been taken from it for 23 long years.


Elizabeth Mosier said...

What a heartbreaking story the real-life version was. And what a haunting story your novel promises to be. Now I REALLY can't wait to read it!

bermudaonion said...

Wow, that is eerie. My heart breaks for Carlina White.

Anna Lefler said...

What an amazing intersection of stories, both real and imagined.


Staci said...

Isn't it amazing how everyday life occurrences can result in an idea for a story? This one sounds so intriguing and of course, I can not wait to read it in the fall. I was not familiar with the Carlina White case..faith is an amazing thing!

Lilian Nattel said...

I find it uncanny the way that happens so often, fiction first, then discovering it was more true than I thought. How sad though for everyone, all those lost years.

Sarah Laurence said...

I love the cover and the blurb, especially the yellow sock detail. I'm really looking forward to reading and reviewing this.

Have you read Room by Emma Donoghue? I still need to post a review. It's narrated by a child in captivity with his mother. He's the product of their union.

On the topic of rape, I just reviewed a really good YA, The Mockingbirds by Disney Whitney, about date rape. I think you'd appreciate her writing.

I wish all tales about abduction and sex abuse were just fiction. It's scary raising a teenaged daughter in this world.

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