By: Lily Malone
I was having a conversation with an author friend recently and we mentioned the number of times we’re asked how much of our books relate to our own experiences. It happens all the time. I’m sure if I wrote erotica, I’d be asked even more often whether the sex scenes come from my own history of steamy moments! Not!
It’s fiction, people!
My books are packed with far more action and drama and adventure than is ever likely to happen to me. I’m too busy writing, working and bringing up my kids to get in the type of trouble my characters get up to.
What I think is far more likely is that authors bury bits of truth, little tit-bits of themselves in their pages.
These are some of mine.
In His Brand Of Beautiful, my hero Tate thinks he’ll never find a girl who shares hispassion for the wild and secret places of Outback Australia.Tate thinks most girls would rather stay in the comforts of civilization with its lipsticks and powerpoints and hair-straighteners.
In the book, there is a scene where Tate recalls the last girl he brought on a camping expedition in the Outback. It didn’t end well.
“The weekend he’d taken Lila camping in the Flinders, she’d been attacked by sandflies and ended up at Hawker hospital on a diet of anti-histamine and hysterics.”
Yep. True story. In 1999 my husband and I drove around Australia in our Mitsubishi Pajero and we camped for some time on the Oodnadatta Track. (Google it if you’re not in Australia... it really is in the middle of nowhere). I got hammered by sandflies on that trip and I did end up in Hawker hospital, huge welts all over my face and neck. Not pretty!
Here’s another one. Until this year (when Escape Publishing sent all its authors an umbrella on Valentina’s Day) I never owned an umbrella. I worked that line into His Brand Of Beautiful too.
“A pair of pointed black shoes planted on wet road. Long, suit-clad legs followed and the rest of his body unfurled from the driver’s door, a thick wedge of briefcase last to exit. Christina wondered if he’d remembered an umbrella. Then again, maybe he was like her — didn’t own one and just took the chance.”
In my new contemporary romance novella, The Goodbye Ride, there is a scene where the hero, Owen, plays guitar to the heroine, Olivia. My husband plays good guitar (although he would never tell you that himself). At the moment he is perfecting one particular song that I give way in the book.
“Owen’s grip on the beautiful instrument was relaxed, yet strong and sure. Head bowed, brow furrowed in concentration, it gave her a chance to really study him. His fingers flew over the strings and he didn’t miss a note.
Watching him, a thrill shivered across the skin at the nape of her neck. She couldn’t help but imagine those skilled fingers plucking at her own body, treating her like he did those frets and strings.
“House Of The Rising Sun,” she said when he finished, the notes lingering in the air between them like smoke.”
I am sure you’ll find I’m not the only author that sprinkles slivers of herself in her characters and her novels. Next time you read your favourite books, maybe you’ll think about what is truth, and what is fiction? I am certain it won’t be the parts that you might have thought.
If you’d like to read more about Lily Malone and her books, please visit her author page on this blog, http://www.theromancereviews.com/lilymalone
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Olivia Murphy is a woman on a mission. Gracing the front lawn of a house in her Adelaide Hills hometown sits the classic Ducati motorbike that once belonged to her brother, a For Sale sign by the tyre.
Liv wants to buy the precious bike and bring it back into her family, and she wants the ink dry on the paperwork before the approaching holiday weekend. Tourist-mecca Hahndorf doubles in size on long weekends—and most visitors have far fatter wallets than hers.
One person stands in her way.
Owen Carson likes rare and beautiful things and he has the Ducati in his sights. Then he meets Liv, and finds his heart captured by beauty of a far different kind.
What will Olivia do to make the Ducati hers? And can Owen convince Liv he wants more than a holiday fling?