Non-fiction almost as true as fiction

So Suicidal Maniacs is out in the world and I can begin a new book, well, two new books.  I’ve got an ’emergency project’ – a non-fiction book I’m co-authoring that needs to get out right away, so that project takes precedence (just for a nanosecond) over my next novel that I’ve outlined and already have bits and pieces written in various journals.

And non-fiction is like taking a breather.  It’s just real.  It doesn’t have to be really real.

That’s a distinction an editor made for me years ago, and I remain eternally grateful.  I handed him the completed manuscript for a book I wrote on ending violence in families, and sighed, “Wow, now I can get back to my real work.”  I realized what I’d just said – to my boss in effect.  It wasn’t too late, though, to take it back, so  I tried:  “That’s just how tired I am, and turned around, that I think writing fiction is more real than a book on ending family violence.”

He shook his head and was emphatic:  “No, you are absolutely right about that.  This non-fiction book is about real issues, but what you do with you fiction?  That’s what is really real.”

So now as I move on to this non-fiction book I relax and will just try to be real.

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