Goodreads Giveaways and more from Colin Falconer, Author of The Naked Husband
Cool Gus Publishing is currently doing a double-whammy Goodreads Giveway. First up is Duty, Honor, Country A Novel of West Point to the Civil War by Bob Mayer. Did you know that of 60 battles in the Civil War, 55 were commanded by West Point Graduates on BOTH sides.
The second giveaway is The Naked Husband by Colin Falconer. The Naked Husband was released through Nook First and went all the way to the top #20 of the bestseller list.
We want to welcome back Colin Falconer to Write It Forward with another fascinating and thought provoking post about his book The Naked Husband. Welcome Colin!
How much of someone else’s story can you tell in order to tell your own?
Last week I was at the Ubud Readers and Writers Festival in Bali and listened to an Australian journalist called Nigel Brennan ask this very question. Nigel was captured by Somali rebels in 2008 and held captive for 462 days while his abductors negotiated a ransom of over one million dollars.
A woman was held captive with him and he wrote about his reactions to hearing what was done to her while he was in an adjoining cell. Before his book was published she tried to get an injunction to stop publication as she felt the book infringed her rights to privacy.
He argued that what happened to her formed much of his own experience and he felt he had the right to talk about that.
Who is right?
It’s a question I have never resolved for myself, especially when I talk about The Naked Husband. Anna was never a problem in this regard; she was, after all, the woman who encouraged me to publish it. The son is imagined.
But Sue? When you give a real person voice, or when you speak for the dead, how much should you say, or not say?
I chose her words carefully; and they were her words. I wanted to explain how she felt and I could not do that from fantasy. I also wanted nothing to excuse Mark, knowing that she did not. This was her moment to make her point.
There’s a scene in an old movie called Someone to Watch Over Me when Tom Berenger’s wife discovers his affair with a rich socialite. They glossed over the scene in the movie, yet this lies at the very heart of the story.
I could not omit her then , but some would say – did say – that not only should I not have fictionalized her, but that I made her too real. Others said that because of Sue I should not have written the story at all.
My readers will be the judge. For myself I still lie awake some nights and wonder. I can never say my conscience is clear. Doubt will always dog my heels.
But when you try and write honestly from life, there will always be someone in the next cell. Do you just tell your own story and pretend that you never heard those screams, when you spent so much of your time trying to shut them out?
Because if you do pretend, it’s no longer the truth; especially if you still hear them in the still of the night.