An artist is influenced by the world around him or her. Certainly, real events get stuck in my brain and find their way, changed but bearing the same essence, onto the page and into a story.
But sometimes it’s the other way around.
Near the end of the third book in the Titan series (spoiler alert) our hero uncovers a kind of Holy Grail that evidences massive corporate malfeasance, tax dodging and scams. Shortly after the book was published, a story on the “Panama Papers” broke.
Long before that happened, a story I was writing set in the the near future involved a blond man who was suddenly everywhere on the internet. The story was science-fiction, and the blond man’s digital ubiquity more about hacking than politics, but nevertheless when Trump ran for president a few years later, was elected, and began storming cyberspace as the media covered everything he did and said relentlessly, my blond man became real.
More recently I wrote a serial killer story with a main character who has a traumatic event in her past. That story hasn’t been published yet, so I’ll just say that a recent major event in our society closely mirrors that character’s past.
I even started a sequel with that same character. The plot of the book involved political terrorists kidnapping media professionals. I’ve stopped writing the book for other reasons, but as of this moment, bombs have been delivered to certain media figures by political terrorists.
Do I think I’m psychic? Not really. Surely there is an explanation, something along the lines of real-world clues filtering unconsciously into my creative process and sometimes aligning to create the illusion of prediction.
More concerning to me, anyway, are these actual events and their impacts. Not to mention that it seems reality is outpacing my fiction writing. I need to work faster!
Off I go, then.