When Fiction Gets Real!

Have you ever had a dream that seemed prophetic? I mean you dream something happens and it does? That’s the way I feel these days with the Corona-virus pandemic.

It all started in 2015, when I got the idea for a series of books. At the time, I was following the news about women who’d been kidnapped and kept prisoner for years. I was appalled that such a thing could happen. It got me thinking about cults and people like Jim Jones and Adolf Hitler –people with the power to persuade others to do unspeakable things. With all this churning in my head, I began writing The White Carnation and created the Harvester. But, as the story progressed and grew inside my head, I realized that the Harvester was just a puppet, following orders. Thus, I created the Prophet, a leader whose ideas were so far-fetched, no one in their right mind could follow him. More horrific news convinced me that there was far more evil in the world than I’d ever imagined. That was when I realized that the Prophet couldn’t be contained in one book.

I moved on to book two, The White Lily, and with each page I fleshed out this monster I’d created, a megalomaniac, with people as equally deranged at his beck and call, people ready to do anything for him, no matter how many would suffer because of it. This Prophet fancied himself on the same level as Biblical prophets from the Old Testament, doing the creator’s bidding. He concluded that the creator wanted him to punish the sinners, much the way the Lord had when Noah had built his ark. So how would I have him wreak his vengeance?

That led to book three, The White Iris, written in 2016 and re-released in 2019. I decided with all the talk of bio-terrorism, that the Prophet would unleash what he called a plague on those who didn’t follow him. Hours and hours of research led me to the Spanish Influenza epidemic one hundred years earlier. At the time, one third of the world population was infected and an estimated 50 million people died. There had been no vaccine and no cure. Well, I wasn’t about to kill off so many, but my research gave me a new respect for the annual flu shot.

Fast forward to 2020 and COVID 19. Now you know what I mean when I say fiction becomes real. Fast work on the part of my heroes and heroines averted my plague, but the one we’re facing is way too real and all but out of control.

So for the last few months, I’ve been working on other dreams, some more real than others, but trying to stay upbeat and lighthearted, like my newest release, Tequila Sunrise, based on the last vacation I’ll have for some time. Tequila Sunrise is part of the new Summer Shorts box set. Sixteen novellas to help you pass the time as you stay safe. Enjoy!

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About Susanne Matthews

I'm a retired high school English teacher turned author. I'm Canadian. My husband and I have been married 48 years and have 3 children and 5 grandchildren, as well as 2 step-grandchildren.  I enjoy traveling, especially somewhere warm in winter.

4 Replies to “When Fiction Gets Real!”

  1. Well, this certainly puts a new perspective on things. Fascinating and terrifying post! I love all the Harvester books and you certainly did a great job with them. You have a fantastic imagination!

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