One fear that keeps popping up in my writing is that I won’t do the source material justice. It’s amazing how bizarre the truth can be. In fact, sometimes in my writing I have to normalize the real story just so it’s more palatable for the appetite of the average reader. Twain is famous for saying “Truth is stranger than fiction”, and I can’t get that quote out of my head lately. The lines between fiction and nonfiction are so blurred when I work on my latest novel Great Is Our Sin because in all reality, I am more of an observer than a real writer. Over the past few years, I have observed a lot of strange, wonderful, and terrible things about the world around me, and now, all I have to do is record those things. I’ll fictionalized them of course. I’ll change the story enough that even the person that it’s based on will be oblivious to the fact that they are reading more of a memoir than a fiction story, but sometimes, I wish I could give them more justice and tell the whole awful truth about the life of a poverty-stricken student. It’s as if I get to look at a gritty old photo, and my only job is to change the photo just enough that it looks beautiful to the eye. I think that’s the curse of the observer/writer. No matter what, only I will know the strange and terrible truth.

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