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Writing Books/Memoir or Fiction??

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Question
I have completed my 3rd novel and that too is to be published. However, I'm perplexed. Being long-distance grandparents, letters have been written to grandchildren. I'm sure the parents would not like to see these letters made public and I will not approach them for approval. Should I simply fictionalize the novel? Should I begin the pages with no date and no name? Should I change the author's name?

Answer
Jeanette:

The problem with writing your memoirs is that your life isn't lived in a bubble.  Other people are part of your life, and in telling your story, you've got to tell part of theirs.  And they may not like that.

Even if you were to change names and dates, there's still a chance that the parents would see through that camouflage.  Writing under an assumed name is fine, but not exactly a safe answer to your problem.  They could always find out that you are the true author of a work.

It all boils down to your level of concern over them seeing "the truth" about your work.  But remember that private citizens (unlike celebrities, for whom publicity is part of the fame package) can sue for invasion of privacy, even if what you write about them is flattering.  If they can identify themselves in your work, you're at risk.

Just something to think about.

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Vincent M. Wales

Expertise

I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.

Experience

For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

Education/Credentials
BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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