A Life Of Fiction XCVII

For those of you new to this WordPress site, this site is about me and my writing – and a little about my role-playing, as well. It gives readers a chance to sample my work before purchasing it on the Kindle store; and gives me the chance to say a little about the genesis of each novel, or about the process of writing in general.


A Liar Of Fiction: Normally, I do not tell lies. I do not tell any lies, and that is the truth. It is because I have a very bad memory, and if I was to tell a lie then you would have to remember what that lie is. But with the truth you don’t have to worry about remembering what you have invented.

The production of fiction is, in effect, the dissemination of lies. The only thing is everybody knows that they are lies because it says fiction on the back of the book.

I have a friend who does not read any genre fiction. He is a good friend, but it still annoys me when he claims that all science fiction, fantasy and horror works are crap. I think that the only books which he reads are auto-biographies.

I don’t read auto-biographies, or biographies, and that is not a lie. Unlike what passes for truth in a lot of those works supposedly set in the real world. The truth is bent in auto-biographies. They are either changed to portray a person in a good light – if it is a hagiography – or the excesses increased, if you are reading about some villain. It is all a matter of viewpoint.

I prefer fiction to real life, anyway. Biographies only tell part of what a person is like. If you want to find out about a writer then you really need to read their work.


Actually, I tell a lie (and that is the truth, this time). I have read a couple of biographies. They were both around Sherlock Holmes. I told my friend (who shall remain nameless for his own protection) about them, and he declared that they weren’t biographies, because you can only have biographies about people who were real.

Apart from disappointing all of the people who believe in Holmes, that statement was incorrect, as a biography is merely words about a life; and what does it matter if that life was fictional, rather than in our oh so boring real  world. Sherlock Holmes, in the books, has a life history just as interesting as anybody who was actually born, rather than issued from the ink of an author’s pen.

Think of how many biographies there have been about Christ. Think how much evidence there is that he actually existed. And then say that I can’t enjoy reading my biography of Sherlock Holmes.

But I digress. We are talking about lies, here, aren’t we? (Or is that another lie?) One lie is that an auto-biography is about the grinning non-celebrity on the front dust jacket. It is a lie that they actually wrote the book, rather than some underpaid ghost writer who got four grand for his or her two hundred thousand words, before having to sign a form saying that they would not reveal that they actually wrote the book.

I am one of those authors who believe in correct attribution. All of those who contributed to the writing of a work should have their names appear on the cover. If you are a ghost writer and your name does not appear on the cover of the book then that cover is, in effect, a lie.

Perhaps liars make good storytellers. You need to have invention. But you need to make it believable, so that people reading the work can more easily suspend their disbelief.


I have never watched The Invention Of Lying, and I don’t intend to. And that is the darned truth.


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