My first nonfiction book, Write Your Story: How to Turn Your Life into Fiction in 10 Easy Steps will be out later this autumn.
Turning Fact into Fiction
You may know that my best-selling novel, The Englishman, is closely based on how some 30 years ago I met and fell head over heels in love with my Englishman, a Royal Navy Officer, at the British Embassy in Helsinki. Over the years, I’d been trying to write a fictionalized account of our love story, but it wasn’t until I began a series of blog posts in 2007 that I was able to turn fact into fiction. The process of telling a true story in a novel form was something I developed while writing the weekly blog posts. It seemed organic at the time, but examining the process later made me realize that I’d used the similar techniques in all of my previous novels. I began using this same process for all of my writing and was able to write two sequels to The Englishman, The Navy Wife, The Good Officer as well as a coming-of-age prequel novella called The Finnish Girl (now free to download here). The last installment to The Englishman series is due to be published next month, and the boxed set of the first three books in the series is now available in most e-book stores worldwide.
By Popular Demand
Since the publication of The Englishman, I’ve been asked to write about how I transformed a true story into a novel. My tips on ‘How to Turn Your Life into Fiction’ have appeared on the Alliance of Independent Authors blog, the ALLi London Book Fair Fringe, and on Creative Spark, a Triskele Books summer writing programme, among others. I’ve also spoken on the subject at book readings and literary events. Many have asked if there is a book about my experiences in using my life as a source for my fiction books, so now, finally, I’ve compiled all of my tips on the subject in one place. I’ve limited myself to 10 points, which I believe will make it super easy to turn your life into fiction.
Write What You Know
‘Writing what you know’ or writing about your own life experiences has been a subject that I’ve been fascinated by since I began writing a diary at a tender age. During my MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, I wrote an essay titled, ‘Authors Are Vampires’, where I examined the way writers metaphorically suck the life out of the people around them. Many writers will use anything they find inspiring for their stories regardless of how it makes the person they’re writing about feel. (It’s art, after all, darling!)
However, not everyone feels this bold. I certainly was very nervous writing about people I knew, and about events that had actually happened. What would those who had been involved think? Would they shame me publicly on social media, start gossiping about me behind my back or stick pins in a Helena Halme Voodoo doll?
With the techniques displayed in Write Your Story, I’ll show you how easy it is to turn your life into fiction without upsetting the people around you. I’ll also show you how to get inspired, how to write with confidence, and ensure that the story is engaging with strong characters and dynamic dialogue.
How to Turn Your Life into Fiction
Write Your Story shows you in 10 easy steps how to turn your life into a novel. It includes:
- How to get inspired
- Where to start your story
- How to write with confidence
- How to create strong characters
- How to use dynamic dialogue
- Whether to seek permission to publish
In Write Your Story I show you how to change plot points, characters, dialogue, and timelines to avoid upsetting your nearest and dearest (if you don’t want to, that is!). I also devote a whole chapter to dealing with the issue of seeking permission from the significant people in your story.
Write Your Story will be in available to buy in the shops and online as an ebook on 29th November at $4.99 and $7.99 for the paperback version. But there’s good news! You can pre-order a copy of the ebook version NOW for just $1.99! Don’t miss this chance to get the fresh-off-the-press copy of this unique guide on how to turn your life into fiction. I have tried to include all of my experiences from my seven novels, each one of which includes events and people from my life. Please feel free to let your author friends know about this offer!