Truth is Boring

One question that I get is,

“Am I in your book?”

I can see why people might ask this. The setting is a public university in Hawaii, similar in some ways to my own workplace. The main character is Molly Barda, who teaches in the Mahina State University College of Commerce. I teach at a university, in Hawaii, in the business school.

But I must insist: I am making most of it up.

In my author bio, I try to make this clear:

Like Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, a loving family, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining.

I have sacrificed Truth on the altar of Art.
Why? Because Truth is boring.

If I were really writing about myself and the people I know, my stories would feature kind, capable people doing their jobs competently and without incident. Snore.

So I punch it up a little: Ruinous budget cuts. Reckless, showboating legislators. A powerful and well-funded Student Retention Office staffed by self-assured dimwits.

Molly, my protagonist and narrator, is neurotic and socially awkward. Her bottom-line-obsessed dean won’t let her report cheaters, because he refuses to scare off paying customers. Her next-door colleague is the reason she’s not allowed to close the door when she has a student in her office (it’s called the “Rodge Cowper Rule”). Her students don’t know what “plutocracy” means, but they’re pretty sure it has something to do with planets.

So no, you are (probably) not in my book. I promise. Now go read and enjoy!

Originally posted on Brooke Blogs