Today’s guest is Cathy Lamb whose novels include What I Remember Most and soon to be released My Very Best Friend. Her other books are: If You Could See What I See, A Different Kind of Normal, The First Day Of The Rest Of My Life, Such A Pretty Face, Henry’s Sisters, The Last Time I Was Me, and Julia’s Chocolates. She is currently working on her tenth novel—she doesn’t think it will make her want to run away screaming to a rustic cabin in the backwoods of Montana, but she’s not sure. She has also written six short stories and about 225 articles for The Oregonian.
Cathy daydreams a lot, which is how she gets the ideas for her novels. At least, that’s her excuse. Then she stays up late, after everyone else has been in bed for hours, and stares at the moon and writes. Cathy is married and has three children. She lives in Oregon and has an odd cat.
I am writing about how writers should steal from their own lives for story lines because I think stealing, for this particular purpose, is quite helpful. Even entertaining. And, thank goodness, there’s no jail time involved. I mean, who wants to wear an orange jumpsuit? Not me.
Stealing From Your Own Life: Your Way To A Storyline
Writers, thou shall steal.
Yes, you shall.
Steal from your life. Steal from that devastating year and that most glorious weekend. Steal from your emotions, the utter despair and the sparkling joy, steal from someone you don’t like, steal from someone you adore.
Steal, like a literary thief in the night.
It’s all for your storylines and your characters.
Writers, thou shall steal. Yes, you shall. Steal from your life.
[/pullquote]Right now, and I mean it, stop reading this article and think about the three worst things you’ve been through.
Really, stop reading. Stare into space and think this one out.
Stop crying. Ask yourself how you can use those soul-crushing times in your book. How can you use those emotions?
For example, my sweet father died about two months after my first book Julia’s Chocolates sold. He had prostate cancer. He came to my reading at a bookstore, he made everyone laugh, he was happy. Two months later, he was gone.