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Memoir Masquerade May 15, 2011

Posted by Carolyn Burns Bass in chick lit, fiction, novelography.
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Dana Precious

Fiction is made of lies sprinkled with truth. Or is it made of truth written as lies? Either way, some novels are referred to as veiled autobiography, or as #litchat has tagged them, novelography. Why do some writers couch their life stories in fiction, rather than memoir? What about memoirs later exposed as fiction? This week in #litchat we’re discussing memoir masquerading as fiction.

Joining us on Friday, May 20, is Dana Precious, author of Born Under a Lucky Moon (William Morrow). A debut novel released in February, Precious admits much of the storyline is derived from her real life.

“The novel Born Under A Lucky Moon, while fictional, is based on real life events in my life,” writes Precious in the novel’s website.” The story that takes place in 1986 is inspired by some things that happened in my life.  It noodled around in my head for decades until I knew I had to write it down just to stop thinking about it.  I did compress some events to fit into a specific time frame.”

Born Under a Lucky Moon is the tale of two very important (but distant) years in the lives of Hollywood studio executive Jeannie Thompson and her colorful family members to whom zany things just seem to happen. From the Great Lakes of Michigan to Los Angeles and back again, it is a story of unexpected marriage proposals, surprise marriages, a renegade granny, a sprinkler system cursed by the gods, and myriad other factors Jeannie blames for her full-tilt, out-of-control existence.

“Why I felt I had to write part of Born Under A Lucky Moon also as a present day love story was not self evident to me for a long time.  It just kind of kept inserting back itself into the book – much like it kept inserting itself into [character] Jeannie’s life.  It started as a tale of two confused lovers with the most vague of a Hollywood setting.  Gradually it took form and I’m pleased with the results.”

As an advertising executive for a Hollywood studio, Precious draws the line about the reality of much of the Hollywood hijinks occurring in the storyline.

“Other than the fact that I worked (and still work) as a film studio marketing executive, this part of the story is completely fictional.  Maybe I was inspired by the behaviors, excesses and eccentricities that I witnessed in the film business but no character, event or place is true. ”

Follow Dana Precious on Twitter: @danaprecious.

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