Fact checking in the real world–why authors can’t ever really leave work behind

I’ve been vacationing in Oregon and Utah, both of which have way better weather than Arizona has right now. I didn’t mean to work at all, but the problem (or benefit, depending on how you look at it) is that you can’t turn off the writer’s brain. For example, when we went white water rafting, we took a 15 passenger van to the river head. The whole ride up I was thinking about the fifteen passenger van I have my characters riding around in during Slayers. (That may or may not be the actual title of the book.)

Actual example of the conversation in the van:

Youngest daughter (code name, Melody, because she has recently informed me that I should have named her Melody.) “Mom, look at how tall those trees are!”
Me: silently thinking, “My characters need a bigger van. There’s not enough room for surveillance equipment in this thing.”

Here are some pictures from our water adventure. Although I look like I’m standing up in the back of the raft, I’m not. The water is simply higher where I am.

In this next picture you will notice I have disappeared. Coincidence, or a plot by our evil raft guide? My question is this: Who in the world first saw a churning river with rapids quaintly named things like “Bone Crusher” and thought, “Hey, I have a good idea! Let’s get a flimsy, air-filled boat, and go down this baby.”

Who? Men, that’s who.

In Slayers, my main character rides a black gelding named Bane. That’s what the stables gave me. Unlike my main character, I had no mystic connection with my black horse. However, he did want to eat non-stop, so maybe there were similarities in our personalities. That’s pretty much what I did on vacation.

Next stop, The Princess Festival in Lindon,Utah. Think Prom for little girls. Here is Melody riding a sea serpent. Hmmm, that would make an interesting plot point . . .

Here I am posing in a fountain with Melody. This picture actually has nothing to do with the rest of the blog. I’m just including it because I’m vain. I think most authors are. Why else would we ever think that anybody cared, let alone would pay for, all the stories that go swirling around in our minds? (Discuss amongst yourselves.)

Here is Melody with Beauty. All of the famous princesses were at the festival. (Which incidentally is a volunteer run fundraiser to help girls in Kenya.)The princesses had to have generic names though, so Disney won’t sue them.

Here is the best princess of all: The Snow Queen, played by none other than big sister, code name Serena. Hey Serena, I knew that pale skin I gave you would pay off someday!

And lastly, here is Melody learning early on that to find your prince, you’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs.

I love princesses. I totally want to write that retelling of Cinderella that I’ve been thinking about since I wrote My Fair Godmother. Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be doing revisions. Cinderella will have to wait.


Fact checking in the real world–why authors can’t ever really leave work behind — 24 Comments

  1. Haha, Janette! How is it that your blog posts are always SO hilarious? Some people must just be gifted with wit. Sadly, I’m not.

  2. I’m totally rolling on the floor about the men comment. And I’m sure my daughters would have loved the Princess party. It looks like girl heaven. 😀

  3. You’re a crack up, Janette! I love reading your blog.

    I have a burning question for you: I’ve read MY FAIR GODMOTHER and I’m now reading MY DOUBLE LIFE. I’ve noticed the names Jeff Savage and Rob Wells popping up with some frequency. Do they appear in all your books? Did you lose a bet to those two or something?? Just curious …

  4. Lindon is soooo close to where I live…just sayin’.
    You’re vacation sounded fun! You’ll be able to add someone caught in white water in one of your books.

  5. To answer Susan’s question:
    James Dashner, Bill Gardner, Jeff Savage, and Rob Wells are all author friends of mine, so I used their names for random characters in the last two books. (Mostly to see if they actually read my books like good friends would do.)

  6. Actually, not at that point. It was later when the evil raft guide pulled me off the boat that I got dunked. And the water was freezing. Luckily my strapping teenage son was able to haul me back into the boat because I don’t think I could have climbed back onto a wet, slippery boat by myself.

    My teenage son, by the way, was doing back flips off the side of the boat into the water while I yelled at him not to break his neck.

  7. I know a majority of those princesses at the princess festival. That’s what’s awesome about being from Utah. And since I know the princesses who in turn saw YOU, that pretty much makes me a celebrity. I know, I know, you’re amazed to have someone like me commenting on your blog…

    But on another note, river rafting is awesome. When I went, the pictures we saw afterward documented my oar flying through the air and then me catching it. I have no memory of this. What a shame.

  8. Your daughter made a great Snow Queen at the Princess Festival. My 4 year old was confused, though, by the blue lipstick and had to ask why she would ever do that. And weren’t the house and grounds amazing? I want a private castle in my backyard too!

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