As a career journalist, the term “fiction” always made me a little uncomfortable.
After all, that’s the last thing you want to see beneath your byline in a newspaper or magazine, because fiction there translates into … lying.
Indeed, that was always my comeback to people who accused me of “making up” elements of a story.
“If I could do that, I’d be writing novels,” I’d say.
But I didn’t. I could never really see the point, although I enjoyed reading novels by other writers.
All this changed, however, one morning in 1993, when I woke up and decided to create a work of fiction about the newspaper business.
“Where did that come from?” I asked my unseen muse.
There was no answer. Still, I enthusiastically tore into the project. I spent a week at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, a writers’ retreat, and banged out 20 chapters…
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