Saturday, September 04, 2010

Frog Haven

I got this note from a friend with whom I'd shared my novel, Frog Haven.  I was gratified to get it, because I had just received yet another rejection from a literary agency.  I was very sad and depressed.  The letter cheered me up.

Dear Mary,

Thank you for writing and sharing with me Frog Haven.  Sissy is a heroine.  I was worried for those kids.  Is she you?

I know that many of the places you mention are real--for example, there is Union College in Schenectady, I think.  

I don't like rules about some things, like what I put in my body. About staying up or not.  I'm really undisciplined.  I'm obeying some capitalization rules for that character, Sissy's father.

I loved your novel.  It's the first novel I have completed in many years. Thank you again.


Here is part of my response:  

SIssy is based on me as a child and parts of the story are real.  There really was a cabin in the woods near where I lived when I was a kid.  The ponds are real, the starling, and many of the characters are real.  Actually, all of the characters are based on real people, to some extent, but the work is a work of fiction.  And all the things people said to each other and did in this story are entirely made up.

There was a LEGEND (kid story) that there was a dead guy in the cabin and supposedly some of the kids had seen him.  I had NOT!  I based the story on that legend.

Union College is really in Schenectady.  Saratoga Springs is a real place with a fountain in the river and leaves covered with crystals.

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