(This blog was originally written on April 20th , 2006)
Two Saturdays ago I had the opportunity to travel down to Fillmore and Delta and do Author Extravaganzas with my LDStorymaker friends. While I was in Delta, I met Karola Hilbert Reese, author of We Were Not Alone, the story of her growing up years in Germany during World War II. I used her book as part of my research for my novel Strength to Endure. It was such an honor to meet her and to feel of her wonderful spirit. This morning she called and told me how much she enjoyed my book and that it was very accurate. Her comments meant so much to me, to get that kind of praise from someone you admire. I was in purple puddles all morning.
It’s one thing to create a work of fiction that can be looked upon as a good story, well written, with a good plot. There’s a huge level of satisfaction in that. But my favorite kind of praise is the kind that notices how hard I worked to get it right, and to discover that yes, indeed, I did get it right. Writing historical fiction is different from any other kind of fiction because it focuses on actual events where real men and women lived and fought and loved and died. If I vary from fact, I run the risk of not only losing my credibility, but of offending those who were there and made those sacrifices. Far too often, I do get it wrong. But oh, how good it feels to get it right.