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Fic-Facts not of My Making

WARNING: Contains Earnesty.

WARNING 2: If you have no idea what a Fic Fact is, then nothing here will make a speck of sense if you do not first click to go HERE.

So obviously I believe writing has an ongoing relationship with other arts, and for me this is most often the case with the visual arts. Hey, look who said it first without me even knowing! Why, Flannery O’Connor.

While writing A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY, I discovered that I had an easier time swapping between the voices if I used visual (and some olfactory) cues. For example, this photograph by Cig Harvey was one of my touchstones for Mosey.

When it was time to go back to Mosey’s voice, I would look at it. In this self-portrait; her body looks so young, firm little breasts pressing against this fresh-colored gingham, the hands opening the skirt in unselfconscious invitation, the apple with its single missing slice, the air only JUST beginning to faintly brown the flesh…

This picture for me is the last perfect lovely breathless moment of innocence, and this is the place where Mosey lives. At least before she goes to Montgomery. HEH. Looking at this picture would push Big’s voice out and reform Mosey whole in my head.

This picture is a reverse Fic-Fact. I didn’t pull it out of the book. I pulled the book out of it, and I still think it is AMAZING that my editor and publisher and the smartipantses in marketing ALL immediately went OH THAT SHOULD BE THE COVER, and that Cig Harvey let us use it.

Backseat Saints did not HAVE a Fic Fact….Until now.

NACC recently did a One Read event with Backseat Saints, and the Southern Fiction class (and I think also an American Lit class) pulled events/images/ideas OUT of the book and made them into physical objects, which was so AMAZING to see all these visual arts projects coming out of the book and being…actual and factual and touchable.

My favorite? This REVERSABLE DOLL. Ever seen a Red Riding Hood reversible doll? Granny in a night-dress, but flip her skirt and turn her over and OH McNO! A TERRIBLE WOLF!

This was like that, except with Rose and her mom. The DETAILS kill me. See how Mirabelle is wearing a rosary, holding Tarot cards, and in her handbook is a copy of thre Stephen King book she has in the airport.

Flip it, and there Ro in her long sleeves, holding her shorn hair. If you look close at the ROSE Pic, you can see Mirabelle’s hand with the Tarot cards snaking out from under her skirt. HA!
Here are a few more…

There was no way to get all of this one. It was a HUGE road map with stops along it that told the whole book. Here we leave the woods scene with Gretel (note the bandaged leg!) and head to Cadillac Ranch. See the jagged edge of the Coke bottle? The detail on this was meticulous and crazy-smart.

This one is, in person, quite clever. It’s more subtle than in the photograph. I looked at it for several long seconds wondering what it had to do with the book. It just looked like a pleasant little house, and then you realize what is happening inside is not readily apparent from the external view. Smartipants.

And then, Last but CERTAINLY not least…

11 comments to Fic-Facts not of My Making

  • Paula Wilks

    How creative! Thanks for sharing the book projects.
    Just finished Grown Up Kind of Pretty yesterday. So sad it’s over!

  • Very cool. Very interesting. I like the Ro/Mirabelle doll an inordinate amount!

  • Interesting. I had never heard of fic-facts. I thought you might want to see some really striking pictures of the Cadillac Ranch. http://photobyschu.smugmug.com/Photography/Gallery-One/22004360_SM3qfD#!i=1755446470&k=Ng9SzmF The pics are numbers 54-62, the last two pages.

  • WHOA! So much better than that Globe theater I helped build out of pasta back in English Lit. All 4 NACC projects are fantastic, but I could not have that topsy-turvy doll in my house. Creepy…in a melancholy way.

  • I love that story about your Mosey Fic-Fact. That cover IS perfect. I’m sure you know that they put the green gingham on the audio discs, which I just freaked out over. I’m such a geek. But now this Backseat Saints one. Holy crap. Crazy fun, but the reversible doll. Well, I’d make sure that thing was locked up somewhere at night lest it come alive and eat your flesh.

  • I’m so excited to learn about your Fic-Facts, and yes I am new and went back to read the explanation. A Grown Up Kind of Pretty was my first book of yours I’ve read, and now I’m catching up on audio, love hearing your voice and telling the story, such a good time!!
    I loved the green gingham dress from the beginning, book covers speak to me. I do often worry about those voices in my head..ha ha.

  • I should take your little fox girl with me on trips and take her picture. Talk about a piece of your story now out of your control. 😉

  • That Cig Harvey photo is so gorgeous. I went on a road trip BY MY SELF this past weekend, and guess what I chose as my listening material. AGUKOP. Yup–I’ve loaned out my copy, and so I listened to you read it to me. Can I just say that I clapped my hands with GLEE when I opened the case and saw that the CEE-STINKIN’-DEES were green gingham. Oh. My. Goodness. It was like Christmas at the end of April.

  • And the fic fact projects–divine. The house? That one made me sad. . .but emotional response to art is good, good, good.

  • Michelle-who-is-Shelley

    I knew that the Cig Harvey pic was visual inspiration for AGUKOP but I didn’t realize that it was specific to Mosey until now. Loved hearing how you see the photo and the thoughts and images it brought to mind. I LOVED Mosey when I read the book and now I have a visual image to go with her. Thank you.

  • Aimee

    How cool! I love ALL of them (although that reversible doll is CREEPY as well as cool) and the house made me sad. And honestly, I got a little flip in my stomach when I saw the last one, because I just wanted to yell to Ro, “AIM HIGHER! DON’T. HIT. FAT. GRETEL!”