f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: Difficult Timing

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Friday, September 09, 2005

Difficult Timing

Have you heard of author Chris Cleave? He's a Brit who wrote a novel called Incendiary that came out earlier this summer. It's about an al-Qaeda attack on London...and it released I think the day before or day after the subway bombings.

We're facing a bit of that right now as our sales force is out promoting Bethany House's spring fiction. One of the books in that list, (a book that's soon to make regular appearances in this blog because it's tremendous) is called River Rising by author Athol Dickson.

It's set in 1927 Louisiana and from the title and the time you can probably intuit that part of the plot revolves around the great flood of that year. A flood that's being brought up a lot in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

I don't have any grand point in mentioning this. Athol wrote his book years ago. Chris Cleave did as well. Both publishers set their release dates at least a year before. And yet the timing is eerie. With so many novels being published annually it's bound to happen that a plot will coincide with real life. The hard part is talking about the synchronicity without appearing opportunistic.

Tragedy, on scales large and small, is the crucible that changes lives and makes for affecting fiction. (Hence all the 9/11 books coming out now from Foer and McInerney and others) It's always a slap-in-the-face, however, when reality mirrors our fiction so closely.