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January 2019: Fact in Fiction
~ Cecily Wolfe ~

CTR asked:

How much of your real life bleeds over into your books? And do you worry that someone will be able to tell the fact from the fiction?

Cecily Wolfe said:

This is a very timely question. Right now, my younger sister and I are working on a book called American Girls together, and we are using some of our childhood and adolescent memories along with the fictional aspects. I am so glad that we both use pen names, because honestly, we wouldn’t be able to write this under our real names, because people would identify themselves. Not only that, but some of the events and situations, as revealed, would upset family and friends who might not understand or realize what happened, or even know that it did. We aren’t writing it to place blame or to cause problems in relationships, or to dredge up the past in a negative way (although working on this together has been very stressful as well as cathartic – it’s amazing how fear and anger felt when we were in high school can still resonate decades later, when we both feel as if we should have moved on or ‘gotten over’ whatever caused those feelings or resentments.

I’ve noticed characters in some of my books before this one sometimes resemble people I know or have known, and again, am glad for my pen name. I’m not sure that whoever the real person is in each instance would even read my books or recognize their characteristics in any of the characters, but I wouldn’t want to take any chances. I also wouldn’t want to change any aspect of my characters out of fear that they would be recognized; they come to me as they are, and often change in surprising ways as I write. I couldn’t force them to be different than they are or they wouldn’t feel or come across as authentic.

I don’t know if using a pen name is cowardly or smart, but I’m glad I have always used one, and will continue to do so!


Starlight by Cecily Wolfe cover

Starlight (A Harvest of Stars #2)

[Family Drama, Coming of Age]

A strange man has been watching Lanie as she leaves high school with her friends every day, but she is reluctant to tell her parents about this unnerving development. An only child, she is close to both of her parents, but her mother’s unexplained distrust of others makes Lanie worry about sharing anything distressing with them. When the stranger ventures closer to home, his intent is revealed, and her parents’ carefully concealed past is brought back in all its dark horror. *includes the short story Moonlight

Available in Ebook:


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