No matter what your religious persuasion, I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend!
Easter weekend got me thinking. Well, actually, it got me singing. The hubby and kids weren’t too amused by my nonstop rendition of “Here Comes Peter Cottontail.” Yep, I’m tone deaf. But hey, I figure having to listen to my awful singing is payback for the fact that all of them got to sleep in on the Good Friday holiday and I had to get up at six a.m. to let the dogs out. Grrr….
At any rate, singing about Peter Cottontail got me thinking about the Easter Bunny, which got me thinking about beliefs and believability. While on my journey to publication, I entered many contests and worked with a couple of agents. While the vast majority of those who read my work loved the humor and crazy antics of my heroine, IRS Criminal Investigator Tara Holloway, occasionally I’d run across someone who noted that, although they enjoyed the story, things could never happen exactly as presented in my book.
My response? Of course they couldn’t!
Reality is dull. Boring. Predictable. People generally behave in the real world, restrain themselves from saying what they truly feel and hold back from doing risky, crazy things.
But where’s the fun in that?
When I got my first revision letter from my editor, she said how much she enjoyed my over-the-top humorous scenes and asked for more of them. I squealed in delight. She’d given me free rein to put in lots more funny scenarios! There’s nothing I love more than writing a totally wacky scene. And since my books are intended as pure entertainment, not a literary life-changing event, plausibility can take a back seat to fun.
That said, I have watched movies and read books where reality was suspended a bit too much for me and I just couldn’t buy into the story. I was a bit disappointed when the movie “The Firm” was released. Though the book followed proper legal procedures, as an attorney I was bothered by some of the legal inaccuracies in the film. My husband, who is a biochemist, didn’t enjoy “Jurassic Park” as much as I did because he had a hard time buying the alleged process by which the dinosaur DNA was extracted from insects preserved in tree sap and grown into actual animals.
For those of you looking for an entertaining read, I hope you’ll find my debut novel to be one. In book #1 – “Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure” – you’ll meet my heroine, Tara Holloway, a special agent for IRS Criminal Investigations. For her third birthday, her dad presented her with a BB gun. Being a daddy’s girl and having a gun nut for a father, Tara naturally became an expert marksman. She’s able to shoot with drop-dead accuracy, a skill that comes in handy several times throughout the story.
Is my story 100% believable? Probably not. But is it fun? People tell me it is.
Here’s a question for us to ponder: How plausible does a story have to be in order to engage a reader?
Diane Kelly’s debut novel, “Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure,” will be released on November 1st and is available for preorder now at the Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Borders websites.