Upper Hand

 

My husband used to say to me, “Honey, you’ve got quite an imagination.” It was a deflection. If I imagined something happened, it couldn’t possibly be true.

What I’ve discovered by writing fiction is that nothing I can imagine isn’t true. Truth, as the saying goes, is stranger than fiction. No matter how far-fetched a plot contrivance seems, no matter how evil the character who seems to be seeping out of the keys on my computer, no matter how beautiful the sunset I have tried to paint into words on a page, somewhere it has happened; it is real.

After I started writing about Ben Cromwell, the murder victim in Folly, I came across a photograph of a man in the news whose beautiful face and cold eyes stared back at me across the ether. He radiated heat and danger. He was a real man in a state far from the setting of my psychological thriller and he treated women exactly the way Cromwell does in the novel. In real life, that man may, or may not, get his comeuppance. In my novel, he does.

And that is the glorious difference between fiction and reality. In fiction sometimes I have the upper hand.

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