Friday, July 22, 2016

Setting the Stage

I love it when a serendipitous moment comes along and I can say, “I got that right.”
One of those moments came along this past week when I was sorting through emails. I gave a quick glance to an article entitled Preface your book! Bookbaby sends me stuff all the time, usually short articles pertaining to writing, publishing, and marketing. I can glean a useful tidbit every now and then.

This one really hit the spot.

According to this article:
“A preface could be an introduction. Or it could be a prologue. It is whatever you need to set the stage so that the reader can hit the ground running from Chapter 1.”

This idea of setting the stage caught my attention, because I’ve started my book out with an augmented disclaimer. You know the standard blurb found in all works of fiction that state what follows comes from the author’s imagination. The confusing part that I wanted to explain in more detail comes from using some real names: Bishop Hill, a real place I lived in for over twenty years, and Olof Krans, an historical figure and painter. Both of these are key characters that I’ve taken liberties with for the sake of my novel and mustn’t be held to the same standards as non-fiction.

As a preface I’d consider what I’ve written as an introduction and an invitation.

        This is a work of fiction. Bishop Hill, Illinois is a state historic site and a national historic landmark with innumerable real-life stories to tell. I chose the avenue of fiction to tell mine. I used my author’s imagination to create names, characters, businesses, organizations, and institutions wherever I could or otherwise used them fictitiously. Historical figures and events, past and present, along with geography were likewise subjected to my imagination and altered for this work of fiction. Any resemblance to real-life is wholly coincidental.
        A young Olof Krans did join the Bishop Hill Colony and later used his self-taught painting skills to document the Colony’s early prairie years. Those who want to learn more are encouraged to continue their journey by reading further or visiting the real Bishop Hill in Henry County, Illinois. There’s a wealth of information out there and many knowledgeable people to help you on your way.

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