Homaging real life in fiction happens on purpose and subconsciously. In Rebel’s Edge everything is based on true events. The fiction comes into play only in the timing and some characters being constructs of multiples — basically paving the way things play out to serve the forward narrative. In Rebel’s Edge, I present the character of my mother in the way I viewed her from my past teenage self. It is a difficult mindset as, at that time, consequences were not taken into account — no future. Thinking like a teenager is a weird concept, especially after the passing of years and the funny tricks memory plays. Her role in that world is almost a cameo to the adventure — a gatekeeper who has lost control. My mother was a free spirit who was weighed down by the stress of being a single mother of a punk kid. I try to present her as true as I can from the perspective of a teenager.
In regular fiction, real life shows up in observed character traits and descriptions of places. Dark Journey 1973 is a hybrid story in that it has a true crime background and fictional protagonists. The world of the Heights in the summer of 1973 and the crimes of The Houston Mass Murders are based on facts, as is a side story. The character of Lane Bowden has a mother who has been stricken with cancer and he cares for her the best he can while living on his own. While these characters are fictional, Lane's mother is loosely based on my own. I used the situation to tell of the hardship and feeling of loss I went through with my mother’s terrible bout with cancer a decade ago. Even though the times were different, I was able to get across the helplessness and horror of losing a loved one. In fiction, I was able to write about her in a way that was therapeutic. The contrast of the lioness of my youth who was soft spoken and loving versus a fictional character loosely based on her that went through a similar nightmare hits home. I never would want to write the exact true story of the devastation of cancer, for it is too painful. Yet in this horror story, I was able to tell a personal tragedy in a way that is respectful.
I am hard at work on Rebel’s Edge and I feel the frustration of not finishing as quickly as I would like. The process is slow, but I am in the final part of the second book, Punks. It will then go on to the editing phase, while I work on the next pass of Dark Journey 1973 and see if I want to submit it one more time before publishing it on my own. After that, I will forge ahead with the final Rebel’s Edge book, Over the Edge, and go into the endgame of the second wave.
Here are some pictures of my mom — one from her youth and the other from Cancun, Mexico in January 1991.