Wednesday, March 20, 2013
In 2004 I had my eighth book published and always considered it my best. I called it "The Free Prisoner: A Novella" and inside put what is known as a run of the mill disclaimer. It said "This book is a work of fiction. Places, events and situations in this story are purely fictional and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is coincidental."
Here it is 9 years later and I can finally say that it is based on my childhood, and teenage years, in the Bronx in the 1940s and early 1950s. I claimed it was fiction because I felt I could be more honest about people I knew back then and had no desire to hurt anyone or 'out' them. As far as I know those who could have been hurt by the truth of my adventures with them are all dead now. Those who are alive--2 of my relatives--have always been treated with respect by my whether it is in writing or my talking about them.
I honestly have no idea if any of the aunts, uncles and cousins I refer to are even still alive and I have seen none of them in over 50 years.
That brings us to Jack! Over the years I have used different names when writing, not only as the author, but also when I was a character in a book, though that has happened 3 times as most books I have written are nofiction. Why did I choose the name Jack? I haven't the slightest idea nor do I remember picking it for any particular reason. If I were to write "The Free Prisoner" today though I may still use some fictious names for a few of the people I certainly would use my own name instead of Jack and I would change that disclaimer a bit.
The next book was "Letting It All Hang Out: Commentaries, Musings and Essays From An Old(er), Poor, Gay Man." which really was a series of blogs before I even knew what the word meant or I got into blogging. Back in those days I didn't refer to myself as an old man, but an old(er) man. Today, at 77, I proudly carry the title of old man! There was no disclaimer in that book as every word was true and every person real.
I have been working on what I call 'my last book' for about a year now and hopefully will be finished before September. I have been posting the chapters under the name "7 Decades" series and it is basically a look at how times have changed in the past 70 years. Once again there will be no disclaimer as all is true, including names, places, events and situations, most of the facts taken from diaries I have kept over the years. Just in case you care the printed version will be X rated!