Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Find experts and cultivate them!

Even though I write fiction, I owe my readers--if I'm ever lucky enough to have any--a level of truth. If I'm writing about surfing the waves, I can't honestly set the story in Arizona. Likewise if I'm writing about a brain surgeon, she can't be a seventeen-year old, high school drop-out. Our fiction writings must have a strong element of truth to them.

Take my western historical for instance, there are many Native American characters in the story. Although I can do online research to garner gems of information, I still need someone in a knowlegable position to proof what I've written. After all, I could put those gems together in an erroneous manner, ending up with a cheap crystal band, when I was aiming for a diamond tennis bracelet.

Enter my friend, Grace Chiasson Miller of the Mi'kmaq tribe. I email her chapters or passages that contain Native references, and she kindly reponds with her opinion as to whether I'm being true and respectful to Native culture. I am very fortunate to have her--for many reasons. You see, she and I share a grandson. Grace is his maternal grammy and I am his paternal grandma. I like to think this fabulous pre-teen carries within him the best of both of us. Here is a picture of her in her regalia.

All writers need experts to consult when the need arises. Some you may know personally; others, strangers you may contact via email or phone. I once emailed a llama farm in North Carolina with a list of questions about the construction of a llama barn and the birth of a cria, or baby llama, explaining that I was a writer, badly in need of information. The gentleman kindly responded within 24 hours.       Experts are invaluable sources that give our writing that essential ring of truth. Find them, cultivate them and thank them. Grace, thank you for your generosity of time and your sharing of Native information. You made my passage on dreams, visions and the ritual of "smudging" truthful to the Native way. I'm very blessed to have you as a source--and as a friend.

1 comment:

Grace Chiasson Miller said...

Dear Vonnie,
Thank you for your kind words. I am both honored and happy to help you in any way I can. I look forward to the finished book. Yes, our wonderful grandson was our first common bond. He is an extraordinary child in many ways. I too believe that he just may carry on the best in both of us!
May the Great Spirit always be near and help you in all you wish for!