Fiction or reality?

Readers often ask, “How much of your books is real, and how much is made up?” In the sequel to The Book of Luke, The Next Chapter of Luke, much is made up, but there is also lots of real life on the pages.

This is the inspiration for the marina that Emily works at for the summer. The inside of this marina office is exactly where I pictured Emily working – the same wood paneled walls, the simple desk and freezer of bait. Even the refrigerator with bottled water and drinks. It’s located on the South Shore of MA.

And this is the whale tail sculpture that Emily and Luke are sitting in front of when Josie takes their picture. It’s in Edgartown, on Martha’s Vineyard, right where Emily, Josie and Lucy get off the ferry from Falmouth. The pepper farm that Emily visits with Nolan? Also real. It’s based on Nobska Farm in Woods Hole. Like Emily, though, I have zero tolerance for spicy things, so I’ve never actually tasted any of their crazy pepper products.

What isn’t real? The Scoop Shack where Josie and Lucy work. The Edgewater Marina where Emily works (although it was also inspired by a real place in Falmouth). Josie’s house in Falmouth is also a figment of my imagination.

Now that I think about it, most of the time I’m actually thinking of real places and things when I write. I do a lot of research to make sure details are accurate and plausible (which means I spent a lot of time reading ferry schedules to make sure the length of time the ferry from Woods Hole or Falmouth took was correct, etc.).

So lots of places are real and exist. The characters? Are they based on real people? I’ll leave that answer to the reader’s imagination.


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  1. Jess September 19, 2018 at 12:23 am - Reply

    Hey Jenny,

    The Next Chapter of Luke was wonderful. I loved seeing all the characters again. I was wondering where do you see Luke and Emily, five
    or ten years down the road? (A glimpse into the future) 🤞🏻😊

    • Jenny O'Connell September 19, 2018 at 6:53 am - Reply

      Hi Jess, Thanks so much for the kind words! I wouldn’t know how the sequel would be received, so I’m SO glad you enjoyed it. Now, to answer your question…in five or ten years? I hope they have less drama 🙂 Not really, I hope they have lots of GOOD drama. It took me so long to figure out what happened after they graduated, I haven’t even thought years in to the future!
      Enjoy your Fall! And, again, thank you for the positive feedback.

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