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KB Lever photo Thanks to Young Adult and Children’s Author, K.B. Lever for stopping by and sharing her views on putting a few facts in fiction. Enjoy!

Finding the Truth in Fiction by KB Lever

It’s the oldest trick in the book – adding truth to fiction. There are laws about it, best selling novels that use the technique, and let’s be honest, “truth is stranger than fiction,” said the famous author, Mark Twain.

A great novel is one that pulls the reader into the story and refuses to let go until the last page is turned. In order for an author to do that, they must evoke the response that each individual reader strives to find. Anything from pulling at the reader’s heartstrings, a suspenseful story, or an unsettling tale that makes them shift in their seats.

Currently, the population is infatuated with placing people in uncomfortable situations for entertainment. Let’s look at the following examples:

1) Strangers forced to live together in an elaborate house where they must go as far as to share their sleeping quarters, bathrooms, and cars.

2) Twenty women competing over one male (proper suitor) that are sent off on elaborate vacations where, come on, no one could resist falling in love.

3) Eighteen people taken to the Philippians and cast out in an unfamiliar territory and told to survive through hunting, building shelter, and betraying one another.

KB Lever -Executing the List What is the drive for these types of stories? What are the reasons that their ratings are the highest in the industry? Simple, it’s because of one reason – the events are actually happening! People are getting to witness firsthand the outrageous behaviors of human nature! It truthfully lies in the shock value associated with someone being able to say, “that really happened!”

So, with the large desire for the public to be able to relate to a novel’s characters and for the wish to be stunned, intrigued, or manipulated by the plot. Why would anyone want to take fact out of fiction? The real challenge is to perfectly mesh enough fact with fiction to come up with a heart-stopping novel.

Take a journey inside my books, Manipulating the List and Executing the List, and see if you can decipher the truth from fiction. I’ll give you a clue. There are more than just a few real-life events.

KB Lever’s The Immortal Companion is a Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy series that consists of three novels: Manipulating the List (2012), Executing the List (2012), and Legacy of the List (To Be Released July 2013). The series follows a young girl, Katherine, who finds herself in an unlikely relationship with an entity similar to the Grim Reaper.

KB Lever-Manipulating the List For more about KB Lever’s books, visit http://www.KBLever.com  To buy a copy: http://www.KBLever.com/Store.html Be sure to “friend” her at http://www.Facebook.com/author.KB.Lever and “like” her Facebook pages: http://www.Facebook.com/TheImmortalCompanionSeries , http://www.Facebook.com/LalooDreamWeaverSeries , http://www.Facebook.com/ThirtyDaysInMay And follow her on Twitter @KBLever.

Thanks again to KB Lever for her guest post. Watch Whimsical Words for more guests, blogs from me, and a new tasty feature coming in February. Have an enchanted day – Vonnie

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Well, shiver me timbers! Once again, September 19th has arrived, and it’s time to celebrate the roguishly fun Talk Like a Pirate Day. The official website offers a new sing-along this year in addition to their usual pirate fare: http://talklikeapirate.com For those of a more delicate disposition, might I suggest viewing the options listed for kids after you enter the site.

Why such interest in pirates? Nowadays, we have Johnny Depp and Disney’s Captain Jack Sparrow to thank for renewed interest in these scallywags of the seas – but long before the films arrived in theaters, pirates had captured our imaginations. William Kidd, Black Bart, Henry Morgan, Blackbeard, and others seemed to live a life filled with swashbuckling escapades. They sailed to exotic lands, captured treasures, drank a lot of rum, and had romantic encounters with beautiful women.

And speaking of women, there were a few ladies who cast aside their frilly gowns, dressed in male garb, and pursued the life of a sailor. In the 17th and 18th century, there are records of female pirate captains including Charlotte de Berry, Mary Read, and Anne Bonny. But like their male counterparts, their life of adventure ended badly.

 After a shipwreck, Charlotte’s husband lost the “drawing of straws” selection process, and was eaten by his starving shipmates. Once they were rescued, Charlotte chose to join her dead husband, and jumped from the ship into the sea. Mary Read and Anne Bonny were eventually captured, tried as pirates, and sentenced to hang. They avoided the noose by claiming they were pregnant. Mary died in prison. As for Anne Bonny – she vanished. The romantic in me likes to believe a guard fell in love with her and let her escape, or another pirate was so smitten with her independent nature that he risked all to set her free.

And who can forget Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island? As a teen, I read the novel and saw the movie. The book introduced me (and many other young readers) to: “Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest…” (Chapt.1) and “Pieces of eight!” shouted out by Long John Silver’s parrot, Captain Flint (Chapt. 27). The beauty and wildness of the exotic locales visited by pirates was aptly captured by Stevenson, especially in this bit from Chapter 27: “Suddenly a kind of brightness fell upon me. I looked up; a pale glimmer of moonbeams had alighted on the summit of the Spy-glass, and soon after I saw something broad and silvery moving low down behind the trees, and knew the moon had risen.”

But it was the ambiguity of Long John Silver that I liked best in Treasure Island. (Writers take note!) Despicable and likeable, he was the forerunner of Captain Jack Sparrow and his comrades. Robert Louis Stevenson introduced his readers to a most complicated character. And like the charming and deadly, Long John Silver, pirates are to be scorned and envied:

“’John Silver,’ he said, ‘you’re a prodigious villain and imposter – a monstrous imposter, sir. I am told I am not to prosecute you. Well, then, I will not. But the dead men, sir, hang around your neck like mill-stones.’

‘Thank you kindly, sir,’ replied Long John…” (Chapter 33)

The words most often associated with these privateers gone wild: independent, romantic, freedom, and adventure – are, I think, the reason we find the pirate life so appealing. Most of us value freedom and independence. Many of us crave adventure – though more tame than battling opposing pirates with knives, axes, pistols, cannons, and machetes. Lots of us daydream about the romantic life at sea – minus, of course, the scurvy, worm-ridden food, appalling living conditions, and violence.

But let’s set aside the reality of trials and hangings, torture and peg legs, and poor hygiene in the extreme – at least for one day a year, we can shout “Aarrgh!” for no reason. We can relax the  workaday-world seriousness, and greet our office mates with an “Ahoy, mateys” rather than the usual “Good morning.” And we can thumb through a copy of Treasure Island dreaming of adventure.

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