{Guest Post + #Giveaway!} Truth and Fiction by Angela Correll

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Synopsis of Grounded by Angela Correll: New York City flight attendant Annie Taylor is grounded, putting a halt to weekends in Rome and her jet-setting lifestyle. Soon her noncommittal boyfriend’s true nature is revealed, and to top it all off, she loses her apartment.

With nowhere else to go, Annie leaves the city for the family farm in Kentucky, a place she’s avoided for years. She finds a shotgun-wielding grandmother, a farm in disrepair, and a suspicious stranger renting the old stone house.

The country quiet haunts Annie with reminders of a past that can’t be changed. She tries persuading her grandmother to sell the farm, but is met with stubborn refusal? Yet in the midst of her crashing life, Annie sees a glimmer of hope for a second chance.

Jake Wilder is contemplating jumping off the corporate ladder to follow his passion for sustainable farming. He’s almost ready to propose to Camille, a girl who wants more, not less. Annie believes Jake is about to make a terrible mistake, but does she have the right to tell him?

As the summer heats up, so do Annie’s unexpected feelings for Jake and her interest in the land. When a sudden phone call comes from New York, Annie is forced to choose between coming to terms with her past or leaving it all behind.

It takes a bit of courage to write about small town characters when you continue to live in the small town that provided the inspiration. At least, that is what I am realizing now that my book Grounded is out on the streets for public consumption.

Truth and Fiction by Angela Correll

My book begins in New York City, takes the main character to Rome and back, and by chapter four is settled on a farm outside of fictional Somerville, Kentucky. Somerville is based on my small city of Stanford. The two are similar in their agricultural focus as well as size and geography. I drew heavily on the culture of my community in creating Somerville. The locals have received the book well and love that it’s based on familiar places. But now they want to know, who is in the book?

“C’mon, you can tell me!” is a common entreaty I hear these days when I’m in town eating lunch, doing a book signing or meeting with a book club. They want to know if I am the main character, if my husband is the love interest and did all those things really happen to me? They go on to guess who each of the characters in the book are in real life…the single lawyer, the horse trader, the young preacher, the farm widow, and on and on.

It’s fun to hear these questions and sometimes it’s laughable, but I do my best to assure folks it is entirely a work of fiction. But, like most first-time authors, there are quite a few autobiographical things that helped me to create the characters and places that are in the book. The story certainly follows some of my own experiences in coming back to the farm after years in the city and traveling the United States.

Sometimes I explain that developing a character is much like making stained glass. You take this piece from here and add it to that piece from there until you get something very beautiful but also very unique.

While the word “character” is used often in the literary world, we use it around our parts to indicate just how unique someone might be. Something like this, “Boy, he’s a real character!” And everyone knows he marches to his own drumbeat. Another way to express this is to call someone a “bird,” as in: “She is a BIRD!” Heavy emphasis on the last word accented by eye cutting and eyebrow rising to further make the point. We have a lot of “characters” and “birds” in these parts, so there was a deep well from which to draw.

Even after all the explanations and assurances that the work is fiction, I still get questions like this: “But that thing of page 23 really did happen to Jimmy Dale, is that where you got it?”

Most of the time this is the first I have heard of “Jimmy Dale’s” misfortune that just happened to mirror something in the book. But every once in a while a reader will hit on something that did inspire me to include a part of the truth into my fiction. Sometimes I’ll confess the inspiration but if it’s a little delicate, I might just give a coy smile and say, “It’s just a made-up story!”

In fact, as I think about it, that is the key to living well in a small southern town. It’s the art of knowing when to face the truth head on and when to dance delicately around it.

About Angela Correll
Angela Correll is a seventh generation Kentuckian. She enjoys small town life in Stanford, KY, and owns a shop on Main Street selling handcrafted goat milk soap and other local products. Angela and her husband Jess are partners in the Bluebird, a farm-to-table restaurant, promoting food produced in a humane, sustainable and natural way. She combines her passion for hospitality and historic preservation by renovating historic homes into guesthouses.

Angela has written over fifty columns for local newspapers about life, family, and farming and holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Kentucky in Library Science. She lives on a farm with her husband, Jess, and an assortment of cattle, horses, goats and chickens. Grounded is her first novel.

Connect with her on her website, Facebook or Twitter.

Giveaway!
Intrigued by this book? I have two copies for giveaway, courtesy of the publicists!
(US/Can)


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9 comments:

  1. Grounded sounds like a great book to read.

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  2. some historical novels may me wonder which part is fact, which one if fiction, like Mozart's Last Aria, which I just finished yesterday night. This is about Mozart's death, and who may have possibly poisoned him

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  3. I have wanted to read this book since I saw it on Goodreads. The premise sounds really wonderful.

    Suzy

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  4. Grounded sounds intriguing, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book with us :)

    Like wordsandpeace, some historical novels do leave me wondering what's fact and what's fiction just because of that historical aspect to their stories. There's a liberty involved with the storytelling and the really well-done ones often leave me with that feeling of wonder (which would then lead me to looking up the time period or those characters so in the end, I learn in the process, lol). Thanks for hosting this awesome giveaway! :)

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  5. Don't really like about it

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  6. I really love this cover and it sounds like a great read!

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  7. Some books make me wonder if it's fact or fiction when an author writes about some of the same experiences that they might have been through themselves.

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