January 2019: Fact in Fiction
~ Ute Carbone ~
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?
Ute Carbone said:
The funniest thing is often times, the closer to the real truth a story element is, the more it seems fake. When I wrote the P-Town Queen, a romantic comedy, I debated whether or not to put in an incident of a whale blowing up into the book. The dead whale was set with explosives to remove the giant carcass from the beach. The results were a horrifyingly hysterically funny. Whale parts raining down everywhere. This actually happened. It’s on you-tube, you can check it out by searching ‘whale blows up.’ I wondered if readers would think the incident was too far out, even for a quirky romantic comedy. I ended up using it anyway, but it remained one of the most out-there things in a pretty out-there book.
The P-Town Queen
Nikki Silva feels like she’s blown up her life even as her brothers tease her about blowing up a boat called the Mona Lisa. Divorced, funding for her shark research cut off, she’s moved back to Provincetown to live with her father in her childhood home. Nikki hopes to regain herself. She’s written a grant proposal for the newly formed Massachusetts Bay Commission to fund a study that will get her back to the sort of research she loves. The commission is run by her ex-husband Ned, who would rather have a migraine than give money to his ex-wife.
Marco Tornetti wants to turn a hole-in-the-wall Newark spaghetti joint into a trendy bistro. His silent partner, Fat Phil Lagosa, wants to use the place to meet questionable people for questionable business deals. When Fat Phil accuses Marco of a double cross and has him taken for a ride by one of his hit men, Marco knows he’s in too deep.
Marco escapes the hit man and takes the first bus out of the Tri-state area, a bus chartered by the Greater Teaneck Gay Men’s Choir and headed for Provincetown. Marco figures that Phil would never look for him in Provincetown‘s gay community. But when he meets Nikki and falls hard for her, he finds that pretending to be gay isn’t as easy as it would seem.
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