Tag Archives: new release book

Fact vs. Fiction


People are often asking me if my book, Miss Impractical Pants, is based on real life. Only the way it’s generally phrased is, “Did you really do that?” or “That didn’t really happen did it?” or the most common,“You are so totally Katie Sutherland (the main character).” Not a question, but requires a response nonetheless.

My staple answer is; Of course not, my book is completely fiction.

But nobody’s buying that answer, so here’s the truth on what is real and what is fiction:

  • Katie Thayne– Fiction—though we share a few similarities, such as:
    • Katie’s less than stellar dating stories- sadly, all true and all mine
    • Yes, I was a Realtor, and a traveler in my heyday.  I was a late bloomer academically and did eventually graduate with a tourism degree.  I did do an internship in England, and was taken in by the most lovable and wacky (in the best way possible) English family.

—       Here’s where Katie and I differ:

  • I wasn’t raised by a Hollywood diva, and my parents didn’t abandon me to live in Australia—Ha! Just try to get my mother off this continent, I dare you. I’ve never worn a tiara, real or otherwise. I can only dream of finding that magical gown that makes me thinner and taller. I’ve never, ever kissed, nor had a crush on any of my employers.  And all the stuff that happens at the end of the book—that’s never happened to me either.
  • The rest of the characters– Fiction—mostly.
    • One might detect some splashes of my friend April in the character Anna. But the rest of the American cast is 100% fiction. Oh, except Jared Stone, who may or may not be inspired by the FBI agent, the state trooper, and the bounty hunter (so he claimed) I’ve had the privilege of dating—not, all at the same time of course, and it was only one, sort-of, never to be repeated, even if he were the last bounty hunter on earth, date with the bounty hunter.

—       The British characters– I used a little more inspiration there.

  • Remember that wacky British family that took me in?  They’re hilarious and unpredictable like the character Lottie, and loving and fiercely supportive like Sidney. The character, Avery Scott, is a very, very loose interpretation of my Aunt Kathy—mostly the witty, loving, foot stuck in on two continents part, definitely not the portly, blustery, old man part.
  • Lucas— sigh—I’m not acquainted with anyone like him. He’s just a figment of my Jane Austen, chick-flick induced imagination. Same goes for Olivia, Andrew, and Lady Waverly.

Well, I think that about covers it.  If there’s anything I haven’t covered, that still niggles at your mind let me know.


Pseudonym- for real?


The top three questions I’ve been asked since releasing my book are:

  1. How long did it take you to finish the book?
  2. What made you want to write a book?
  3. Who the heck is Katie Thayne, and why didn’t you use your real name as the author?

The answer to question one is; forever, and I’m not sure it will ever be completely finished in my mind. I’m not going to be truthful if I answer number two, so let’s skip to question number three.

Why I released my book under a pen name? I had a few reasons.  And no, the thought I’d be so famous I’d need anonymity wasn’t one of them. Katie Thayne was the original name of the heroine in Miss Impractical Pants. After years of being in her head, or vice versa, I kind of became attached to the ‘ol gal. I wanted to keep her around. I know how that sounds—creeeepy. Can we say Sybil?—but it’s not like that (we…I mean, I think).

It’s more like this, one day, when I become independently wealthy or unemployed—either one ought to give me plenty of spare time, I plan to turn all the random plot summaries sloshing around in my brain into real books. They won’t all be in the same vein as the light-hearted Miss Impractical Pants.  I many decide to publish different genres, under different pen names.

The biggest reason, however, for my taking on a second identity was pure cowardliness.  What if, after spending years of my life and my savings account getting this book published, it turns out to be a huge flop?  How bad would that suck?  What if someone doesn’t appreciate my irreverent sense of humor, and decides to tell me off? Katie Thayne can handle scorn and public humiliation much better than I can.  Granted, it’s a moot point now, since I posted on Facebook to check out my new book, so at least three hundred and sixty four people know my real identity.

In hindsight, after working with a writing coach, editor, and writing group—talk about brutal honesty—my skin is thick enough, I could have authored under my real name without risk of emotional harm. Especially, since I’ve been getting really positive feedback about the book (Yay!).  But as I said, I’ve become attached to Katie Thayne, so I think I’ll stick with her for book or two longer.