Waking up a few mornings ago, I flipped on my smartphone and started looking on my Twitter account. It didn’t take long to realize that some tragic news had come to pass – Whitney Houston had passed away. As I continued scrolling through updates, it was the location of the incident which specifically caught my attention. The Beverly Hills Hilton. Why would the location matter? The manuscript I’m currently editing is tied together by a scene almost identical to what has passed in real life. While (of course) the death of my fictional character does not approach the loss of life of any actual individual, there’s some morbid part of me following the story to study how things play out. How the hotel handles the death. How the public reacts. What’s added to the further weirdness of the incident is that my fictional hotel, the Winchester, is partially based on the Beverly Hills Hilton. In my fictional world the properties are very close together and would cater to the same sort of guests.
This isn’t the first time, either, where I’ve almost instantly thought of how a major life event would turn around some fictional event I had already created. When riots started taking place in Egypt last year, I was of course concerned for the many individuals in the country, but on another level I knew a changed Cairo would dramatically change a major portion of another book I worked on.
Probably it all means I should stop taking my books a little less seriously. It’s not that I’m well aware of the difference between real life and fiction, I guess I think it’s strange that an event so similar to something I wrote last year would happen.