“I’m coming out, I want the world to know, Got to let it show…”
– Diana Ross
By far, the most frequently asked question I’m asked about my novel MAKE THAT DEUX is: “Is it autobiographical?”
If you go to the FAQ (Foire aux questions) tab above, you will see at the top:
“Is MAKE THAT DEUX a true story? No, but it is based (loosely!) on a true story.”
HOW loosely? Regardez:
Not drawn to scale
I must have a bit of French ancestry*, because I like mathematical concepts; quelquefois, my mind just prefers to look at things that way. The above diagram is an example of that, kind of.
1. What Really Happened – Yes, I really spent the year 1979 – 1980 on UNC’s Junior Year Abroad in Montpellier, France. I arrived in August and came back to “the States” the following June. I left my college boyfriend, with whom I was madly in love, behind in Chapel Hill; we kept in touch with handwritten letters and a few very expensive phone calls. I have documents (and witnesses) to prove all of this.
2. My Memories – As you can see in the diagram, some of What Really Happened is entrenched in My Memories, but not all. And some of My Memories did not really, well, happen (probably).
Pourquoi? Parce que…hmm. A., “Studies have shown” that memories tend to center around emotional events. Though I’ve always been a pretty emotional person (hopefully, in a good way),
fortunately obviously, not all of my experiences during my year in France were full of drama and emotion. Some of them were though, and those were the only ones I remember.
Because, B., according to some scientists, “the very act of remembering can change our memories;” for us humans, it may even “be impossible.. to bring a memory to mind without altering it in some way.”
In other words, some of My Memories did NOT really happen (difficult for me to believe, but okay, because that fact was helpful when I wrote my fictional story),
3. MAKE THAT DEUX – Many of My Memories made it into my novel, but not 100% of them. Simply put, my story was
somewhat different than Jenny’s.
And to answer that “autobiographical” question: Look closely at the diagram above and you see that, although My Memories overlap What Really Happened, and MAKE THAT DEUX overlaps My Memories, only a small portion intersects all three areas.
And I’m not
“coming out” telling what that portion is…I guess we could say, see #1. above.
Or we could say, qui sait? (who knows?)
Finally, you may be wondering, “So then, what IS that part of MAKE THAT DEUX in the diagram that’s outside of My Memories (and, necessarily, What Really Happened)?”
C’est la FICTION!
“My book’s coming out, I want the world to know, Got to let it show…”
* My mother’s maiden name is Bellamy: Belle Amie?