I agree with… Vanessa Lafaye

How author Vanessa Lafaye drew inspiration from the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane “On the one hand you have a set of real events that need to be depicted accurately, and on the other hand you have a bunch of fictional characters that you are making up from scratch, and you have to weave the two together.”
From an interview with ‘The Bookseller’ magazine [October 3, 2014]

Labor Day Hurricane

[photo: vanessalafaye.wordpress.com]

Debut author Vanessa Lafaye is talking here about hew novel Summertime, to be published in the UK in January 2015 by Orion. She was inspired by the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane which hit the Florida coastline with tremendous force. Some of those killed by the strength of the storm, and the government’s lack of action, were veterans just returned from the Great War. Their story gave Lafaye, born in Florida but now living in England, the passion and motivation to tell the story. Fictionalised.

“…that was part of the passion that I think every author – and especially first-time authors – need to keep them going through all the obstacles you have to overcome to get a book published.”

Reading her words made me recognize a similar passion motivated me to start writing Ignoring Gravity, and which still motivates me as I write its sequel Connectedness. It’s not just me, as a journalist, who feels ‘safe’ starting with real situations then interpreting them, making them into my own fictional stories. I haven’t based my books on anything as concrete as a hurricane, but the harsh realities of adoption, the lifelong effect on a person’s life and sense of identity that adoption can have, meant I had to get the facts of adoption right. I’m even more motivated now. Since I first started blogging about Ignoring Gravity, readers have contacted me with their own adoption stories: that’s research manna from heaven for a journalist turned author, so thanks to everyone for trusting me with their experiences.

Click here for Vanessa Lafaye’s blog.

Read my reviews of Summertime and At First Light, Lafaye’s second novel.

Labor Day Hurricane


If you agree with Vanessa Lafaye, perhaps you will agree with:-
Hilary Mantelremembers the first time she read ‘Jane Eyre’ 1-4-13
Caitlin Moranreading is not a passive act
Tom Pennremember the reader asks “why should I care? Why should I read it?’

‘Summertime’ by Vanessa Lafaye [UK: Orion]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
‪How a true story inspired @VanessaLafaye#amwriting http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1fP via @SandraDanby