A Venetian Bather,
Paul Peel, 1889,
oil on canvas,
National Gallery of Canada.
"Twilight Star Related to Real-Life Vampire" shouts a Yahoo headline this morning. One can hear fans screaming "oooohhh!"
The suggestion of authenticity is really clever promotional item.
Writers (or their publishers/publicists) do it all the time. The bio of a thriller writer may suggest work experience as a CIA operative--even if the author was merely an accountant with that organization. Some writers of erotica, both well-known and lesser-known, go to extraordinary lengths to encourage readers to identify the author as the heroine of their novels--as real-life Mary Sues whose lives are filled with continual sexual escapades. I can't help but include L.K. Hamilton in this category.
Because writers do fashion their stories out of bits and pieces of their own lives, it's not that difficult to find hooks on which to hang legitimate revelations of credibility/authority/authenticity for the reader's enjoyment.
The fact that Elizabeth Moon served in the US Marine Corps, for example, adds value to her combat scenes and the military structure in her novels for me as a reader.
Certainly, it would be decidely dim for someone trained in martial arts not to make reference to their abilities when discussing their action/spy novel/ assassin hero.
And we've all read, no doubt, of an author who claims an ancestor hanged in Salem as the impetus for her witchy heroines. (I just hauled several boxes of genealogical research out of my office and stuffed them in a bedroom closet and I think I have one of those arrested. She wasn't young and sexy though. As I remember she was an elderly and bewildered lady who disappeared from goal before trial. Not everyone in Salem joined the hysteria.)
Though I rather retreat from the idea of any reader identification of myself with Lillie in Dark and Disorderly, I can't help but mention that Dumbarton, the Doom Dog who becomes Lillie's watchdog in D&D is based on the fact that my husband's family has a personal Black Dog apparition.
What items from your experience have you used (or intend to use) as promotional hooks?
And Two to Go:
NightOwl Reviews: ( http://www.nightowlreviews.com/nightowlromance/reviews/Review.aspx?daoid=6924 ) gives D&D a score of 4.25 out of 5 and calls it "a fascinating paranormal mystery...with a pulse racing scenario...filled with entertaining characters and delightful plot twists."
Amberkatze's Book Blog:
(http://amberkatze.blogspot.com/2010/06/91-dark-disorderly-e-by-bernita-harris.html ) says D&D is a"a breath of fresh air" "delightful" and "stimulating"--"Think Sookie Stackhouse..."