The Highs and Lows of "Inspired by Real Life"
Hi Kathleen, thanks for the opportunity to post here! I'm going to use my time to talk about my books and how it's tied to real life (and how uncomfortable that can be).
Year of the Chick is about a late-twenties girl in a North American world, whose strict Indian parents want to arrange her in a marriage ASAP.
I wrote this book when I was a late-twenties girl in a North American world, when my strict Indian parents wanted to arrange me in a marriage ASAP.
Today I'm thirty and STILL unmarried (PS: Indian girls age in dog years, which means I'm actually two hundred years old now), so having Year of the Chick out there on every e-book website not to mention out in print is ... simply ... a little bit ... awkward.
Even though my parents could Google me at any time to find out what my book is all about, I don't regret a thing. But beyond speaking my mind and the strong sense of self that results, there's also a heavy price to putting parts of myself into a book.
It's not the heavy price of getting sued, because everything is fictional and only "inspired" by real life (so don't even think about suing me, you mofos), but it's more the risk of making it so personal.
Personal writing means you care about it more, and caring about it more means it's harder not to care if someone hates what you have written.
So far the results have been good, but that's because this book is a new release, and it's only slowly spreading now. My dream for this book is to make it big with tons of sales, and that inevitably means that some people, at some point, will hate it.
And that won't be the least bit fun.
It will also suck if readers think the character is obnoxious and whiny and unlikeable, because then I'll have to go find a mirror, and take a long hard look at my soul. No actually, cancel that; if readers hate my character I'll convince myself I'm not like that at all in real life.
As you can see the mental struggle has already begun, and only time will tell how crazy I become from so much "me" in a book.
One thing's for sure though: if you risk nothing, it could mean nothing to no one at all, but if you risk it all ... it could mean everything to many and more.
And that's a good enough reason to take the risk I did.
I hope you'll agree, and I hope you'll be inspired by this quest to find love and avoid arranged marriage.
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