Author Guest Post
Stranger than Fiction
By: Susan C. Daffron
Mark Twain once said, "Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't." Like most people, I tend to remember things that strike me as funny or interesting. A few elements in my novel Chez Stinky are based on places that exist or real experiences I've had. Here are a couple of examples that were memorable enough make it into my novel.
In one scene, the main character Kat Stevens and her friend Maria are seeking "nightlife" in the small town of Alpine Grove. They don't meet with much success. But they do meet a local lawyer named Larry, who explains the sign above one of the dive bars on the main street of town.
Maria, Larry, and Kat stood outside the bar, each silently evaluating whether or not to enter the establishment. Kat looked over at Larry. “Mystic Moon Soloan? Okay, I give. What’s a soloan?”
Larry shrugged. “It’s supposed to be saloon. The story goes that the guys who made the sign had a few too many beers and mixed up the letters. No one ever got around to fixing it. If you walk around to the other side, it’s spelled correctly there.”
Kat and Maria walked down the street past the door to look at the other side of the sign. Sure enough, Larry was right. Spelling obviously wasn’t a big priority in Alpine Grove.
The story of the Saloan is loosely based on a bar in the small town where I live called the Tam o’Shanter or “The Tervan.” The misspelling of "tavern" has been in place for decades, and now it's part of the local lore.
Another scene that is based on reality appears at the beginning of the book. Kat is a technical writer, and she needs to discuss the details and deadlines of a major editing project she has just been given. Instead of answering her questions, her boss Mark evades the issue and says:
“I’ve been thinking about gingko lately. It’s an herb, you know. Do you think it makes me smarter? I’ve been taking it and I think I’m getting smarter. What do you think?”
“Well, Mark, I’m not sure. You seem the same to me. If you start getting dumber, should I let you know?"
This exchange similar to a real conversation I had. Many years ago, I was a technical writer and my boss asked me almost the same question when I had come into his office to talk about the raise he had promised me. It was not one of the high points of my writing career.
So if you're wondering where authors get ideas, now you know. The answer is everywhere.
About The Author
When she's not writing novels, Susan works as the president of Logical Expressions, Inc., a book and software publishing based company in Sandpoint, Idaho. You can read more about her at her website SusanDaffron.com.
CHEZ STINKY - BOOK WEBSITE
Chez Stinky by Susan C. Daffron
Book 1: An Alpine Grove Romantic Comedy Series
Publisher: Magic Fur Press
Publication Date: July 18, 2013
Format: Paperback - 298 pages
Kindle - 446 KB
Genre: Romantic Comedy
BUY THE BOOK: Chez Stinky
BUY THE SERIES: An Alpine Grove Romantic Comedy
Book 1: Chez Stinky
Book 2: Fuzzy Logic
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.
Kat's uncomplicated life gets decidedly less so when she discovers the inheritance comes with some hairy conditions: four dogs and five cats that her aunt wanted her to love as her own. Of course, the house smells like a barn--with a touch of antique skunk--and, naturally, has serious roof issues. And that's before the three-legged cat gets stuck in the wall and the shower goes kablooey.
When Kat meets Joel, an unemployed techie type with no love lost for his sister, Kat looks past his obvious flaws, given his timely and desirable skill set: a talent for fixing things (and his own tools).
Despite out-of-control dogs, cat fights, dust dinosaurs, massive spiders and an old grizzled hippie passed out in the yard, Kat discovers the tranquility of the forests of Alpine Grove starting to seep into her soul.
And why she can't she stop thinking about Joel?
My Book Review:
Technical writer Kat Stevens' quiet and slightly boring life is about to get a lot more complicated ...
In Chez Stinky, the debut novel and first book in the Alpine Grove Romantic Comedy series, author Susan C. Daffron weaves a lighthearted and entertaining story that is sure to tickle the reader's funny bone.
The story follows the trials and tribulations of Kat Stevens when her ordinary life takes a strange turn in direction when she inherits her late Great Aunt Abigail's decrepit house in the small town of Alpine Grove, and a motley crew of four dogs and five cats. But there are stipulations to the inheritance: she has to move permanently into the house and she has to keep all the animals. When Kat receives word that her apartment complex has been sold, and the new owners are converting the apartment units into condominiums, she quits her job and moves to Alpine Grove determined to make Chez Stinky her new home. With a ranshackle house full of animals; a sexy unemployed Aeronautic engineer and self-proclaimed nerdy techie neighbor named Joel Ross; and a variety of dramatic and comedic roadblocks in her way to receiving her inheritance, can Kat restart her life in Alpine Grove?
Chez Stinky was such a fun read, the author does a wonderful job of weaving an entertaining tale that has a good mixture of comedy, drama, mystery and romance. The reader is easily drawn into the story as they follow the humorous trials and tribulations that Kat encounters in Alpine Grove. The motley crew of lovable animals provide a touch of added comedy to the story with their individual personalities and crazy antics, the reader will easily find themselves laughing out loud as they turn the pages. There are enough interesting twists and turns that will keep the reader's interest throughout the story. As an animal lover and proud owner of three dogs, I found myself smiling, snickering, and easily relating to the mayhem and crazy situations that Kat found herself in with her adopted fur babies. Add in a lighthearted sweet romance; family drama and mystery; a quirky cast of friends and townspeople; and a young woman's journey of self-discovery, and you have a delightful story that will leave you wanting more.
I look forward to returning to Alpine Grove and catching up with Kat, Joel, and the memorable animals in Fuzzy Logic, the second book in the Alpine Grove Romantic Comedy series.
RATING: 4 STARS
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