We’ve all heard the cliché “stranger than fiction” but what happens to an author when people we’ve created or places we’ve dreamt up actually come to life? From my experience – it’s freaky weird.
I had three such incidents with my first manuscript – To Make You Mine. First, I named a major character Ben Thatcher, pulling the name out of the air. While I researched the location along the Cape Ann coastline, I wouldn’t know until I traveled there a year after writing the manuscript that the portion of a state route in which I situated the main setting is named Thatcher Road. Legit.
Another major character in the story is a building contractor named Rob. When I visited family during my research trip they were proud to give me a tour of their new home. Their contractor’s name? You guessed it.
Finally, when researching Boston and the probable placement of an orphanage I settled on Dorchester and made up the name, Thompson’s Orphanage. Guess what? One actually exists. In Dorchester.
Now before the skeptics jump all over me about how these facts could easily be located via the Internet, I’ll point out that the research for this book began in 2001. Back when dialup ruled the day just to log onto the Internet and before Google maps. Like the fledging Internet, I too was striking out on a new adventure. To this day, I look back on these revelations not with skepticism but hope. Hope that I’m on the right track as I work everyday to see that story (as well as my others) to publication.