Fact Following Fiction

Some writers can be prescient in their creations. Take Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan, a novella written by Morgan Robertson in 1898. It’s about the sinking of an ‘unsinkable’ ocean liner, predating the sinking of the Titanic by fourteen years.

And, less well-known, is a work by Edgar Allan Poe called, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, published in 1838. He wrote about a whaling ship capsizing and the survivors drawing lots to see which crew member should be cannibalized to save the others. Nice. Character, Richard Parker, is the unlucky one selected. 46 years later, a real boat called Mignonette sank and a cabin boy called Richard Parker was killed by the others for food.

You can call it fluke – and you’re perfectly entitled to – but I’d like to hear what you make of these three curious coincidences in my own work…

1) Like many writers, I often use real people for the inspiration behind my main characters. When I started writing Vicki’s Work of Heart, in 2007, my character Christophe Dubois was based, loosely, on sexy French chef, Jean Christophe Novelli. Although, for the benefit of my story, Christophe Dubois is a very poor cook. My heroine, Vicki, is an art teacher. So I was pretty gob-smacked when, in 2009, Jean-Christophe announced his engagement to Michelle Kennedy…an art teacher.

2) Then, there’s a dinner party scene in Vicki’s Work of Heart where Vicki can’t remember whether one of the guests is called Karl or Kurt. As the scene progresses, becoming increasingly tipsy, she wonders if he’s called Kurl or Kart. Here’s the coincidental bit…I had previously been researching my family history and posted an enquiry on a genealogy site about an ancestor who had emigrated to the USA. Many months after writing the scene above, I received a communication from a distant cousin in the US. He has two sons, their names are Karl and Kurt.

3) Finally, in my fourth romantic comedy Gigi’s Island Dream which is set on the Isle of Wight,  my hero plays in the local ice hockey team, so you can imagine my surprise when a press release for my previous book appeared in the Isle of Wight County Press, with this advert beneath it.

Advert in the Isle of Wight County Press
Advert in the Isle of Wight County Press

Please – if you’re a writer and have a prophetic story to tell – do please share in a comment below.

It will not appear immediately, as I have to approve comments – it helps cut out the spammers selling knock-off fashion accessories.