Do you ever get your ideas from real life events? Or sometimes does reality cross over into the line of fantasy? Or vice-versa?
My new sweet short story "The Storm" is due to be released on March 5. It was originally slated for release on February 19, but it got moved ahead. That's no bother. Just gives me more time to promote it.
I based the story in part on a beach not far from my home. Just off the shore is a small island - more of a rock, really - that you can sometimes walk to when the tide is very, very low. The thing is, you can't stay there forever because once tide rolls back in, if you are still on that island, you are stuck there until tide rolls out again. I have often walked to that island and looked for sand dollars and sea urchins when the tide is very low. I have never been stupid enough to be trapped on it.
So, that island and the beach near my home gave me the idea for "The Storm". Not only does the hung over, idiotic main character get stuck on a small island after he wakes up from passing out, there is a nor'easter on the horizon. If you are from New England, where I live and where my story is set, you know to never mess with a nor'easter.
This idiot, of course, messes with it.
I thought no one could ever be stupid enough to pull a stunt like that in real life. Be careful what you wish for.
According to a Newsday article, "Charlie Sirico, 46, of Bay Shore, was alone on tiny Fishers Island about 4 p.m. when the boat he took to get there began to drift away with his dogs still onboard, police said. Sirico jumped into the water and tried to swim to the boat, but gave up and swam back to shore as it drifted away, police said. Winds were 32 to 38 mph, the Coast Guard said, and it was 16 degrees out, said Marine Bureau Sgt. Joseph Hauswirth. "He must have been freezing," he said."
He was fine and the dogs were fine after being rescued. Whenever I post this story, most people worry more about the dogs than about Sirico. I have to agree. I'd never leave pets outside in 16 degree weather. That's beyond cold.
So, has real life ever reminded you of your fiction? Readers, have you ever read a book that reminded you of something that really happened to you? I love it when a book has that kind of effect on people. It's the "ripped from the headlines" business you see in "Law & Order". Those kinds of things are sometimes called Easter Eggs, which are little news bits and other oddities that are considered "inside jokes" to the creators. Easter Eggs are very common in TV, movies, and computer programs. One Easter Egg in a recent episode of "Psych" had Shaun making fun of the TV show "The Mentalist" because "The Mentalist" is a rip-off of "Psych". Another is in the game "Riven". Photos of the children of the designers are embedded in the backgrounds of the game on the main island. They're not hard to find, but you do have to look for them.
Keep an eye out on my June release of "The Haunting of the Sandpiper Inn". I have a few Easter Eggs in that book that people who keep track of hauntings will recognize.
Midnight Seductions Yahoo Group
And finally, don't miss my release party at the Midnight Seductions Yahoo Group on February 19 for "The Storm". The story doesn't come out until March 5, but I'm holding my release party on the 19th anyway. I am giving away a prize of the story to a lucky winner who will get the story delivered on the March 5 release date. Here is the link. The release party starts at noon EST, and it ends around dinnertime.
So, have you ever read books that reminded you of real events? Have you found Easter Eggs in TV, games, or movies? It's fun to get an inside joke, isn't it?