Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Blending Fact With Fiction

Sometimes the Universe gives writers gifts that are just too irresistible. Six months ago, as I was contemplating whether to write another Crazy Old Lady book, I came across an article on the internet about a fabulously beautiful theater with perfect acoustics buried four stories underground in Boston. I started doing searches on it and was amazed at what I discovered.
Steinert Hall, four stories under Tremont Street

As I was doing these searches I found a couple other stories of interest. One, of course, was about the 1849 murder of Doctor George Parkman at Harvard Medical School. Not only was he murdered there but his body was chopped up into pieces and hidden in various locations around the building.
The murder of Dr. Parkman by Dr. Webster, 1849

Another story involved one Captain Grunchy, a privateer licensed by the King of England to intercept and plunder French ships. During his plundering, Captain Grunchy took 4 beautifully carved angels captive and carried them through the tunnels from his ship to Old North Church in Boston where you can still see them today.
Captain Grunchy's Angels, Old North Church, Boston

These three stories were just so delicious I had to find a way to build my story around them and for the past six months that is what I have been trying to do. It has been slow going at times but it has also been tremendous fun. Over the weekend I wrote the big climactic scene and now it is just a matter of wrapping everything up. I hope to have this book ready for re-writes within a week and then I can begin the process of massaging everything into place so it all fits together.

I suppose there is a case to be made that we find what we go looking for and when I went looking for interesting legends/stories based in Boston, I found them but sometimes I think it is a little more magical than that. I've always believed that there is an alternate universe filled with fictional characters who are in search of someone willing to write down their stories. I try to leave myself open to that when I write.
Fenway Artist's Studios, Boston

This story is full of “Boston.” There is an art gallery in a fabulous mansion on Commonwealth Avenue, GrammyLou's mysterious townhouse now under new ownership, and a long ago murder in the legendary Fenway Studios. I am having a great time now that history, legends, and story are finally coming together. I hope my readers will enjoy The Crazy Old Lady's Secret!


Thanks for reading.

2 comments:

Shannon Hollinger Jones said...

Thanks for this post! I love weaving a little fact into my fiction, and reading stories that do the same. I think it makes them so much more interesting, and the ideas are endless!

Kathleen Valentine said...

Thanks for visiting, Shannon, and for your comment, too.

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