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Monday, October 26, 2015

Stephen Tremp on Narrative Identity

      Today I'm participating in the Listing Blog Hop which is hosted by Bish Denham and Alex J Cavanaugh.  You can check out the details and list of participants by visiting their sites (links in previous sentence).   For my list post please click here.

      And now I'd like to introduce a special guest who is standing in for me today.   Most of you undoubtedly know author Stephen Tremp.  He's been a long time blog friend of mine as well as having written one of my favorite book series which includes Breakthrough, Opening, and Escalation.    Talk to us, Stephen.




"Narrative Identity is a person's internalized and evolving life story, integrating the reconstructed past and imagined future to provide life with some degree of unity and purpose." (sagepub) Often I hear writers integrating their family history and memories into their story. 

Plot, setting, characters, events, dialogue, and imagery are weaved in part or in whole into a story as a way to honor parents or grandparents, capturing a time gone by they do not want to disappear. "Narrative Identity is the focus of interdisciplinary research, with deep roots in psychology." (Wiki

The inspiration for Salem’s Daughters came from three sources. 

First the nocturnal cats at my parents’ house who learned to stand and use their paws to open doors. Sleeping in my old bedroom while visiting on vacation, all I saw and heard was the old glass style door knobs rattling, then the door opening. I didn’t see the cats because they immediately dropped to the carpeted floor. And it was night. Spooky! 

Second came as my parents drove us through the two-lane roads of southern Michigan. The scenery along the north branch of the Kalamazoo River is absolutely beautiful. With vivid imagery they told us of their childhood and their life and times as kids growing up. I wanted to capture everything and took a lot of notes and pictures. 

Third we happened onto a very old broken down dilapidated farmhouse and barn. I wondered what it would take to buy the land and rebuild. But the place looked so spooky I thought the property might very well be haunted. During that twenty-four period the cats, the incredible imagery along the Kalamazoo River, and the spooky old ramshackle house and barn was all it took and Salem’s Daughters was born. 

I wanted to describe much of the incredible countryside and events when my parents and grandparents were raised, and wrote much of what I recorded here and there throughout Salem’s Daughters. Narrative Identity; a great tool for writing a novel. 
Spooky Fun for Halloween

Question: Have you incorporated any Narrative Identity into your books? Moving forward, are there family memories you might want to include in a future work? 

Short Blurb: A four hundred year old evil is unleashed when the daughters of those killed during the Salem Witch Trials find a new generation of people to murder at a popular modern-day bed and breakfast. 

Stephen Tremp writes Speculative Fiction and embraces science and the supernatural to help explain the universe, our place in it, and write one of a kind thrillers. 

Meeting Author Dean Koontz
You can read a full synopsis and download Salem’s Daughters by Clicking Here

Stephen Tremp posts weekly blogs at his website Breakthrough Blogs

Next Stop: Friday October 30th Chrys Fey at Writing With Fey.



Thanks for stopping by, Stephen!

Now please visit my post for The Listing Hop.


44 comments:

  1. I'd have to really think about what elements here inspired my last book outside of a song.
    Creepy about the cats who can open doors.

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    1. Alex, maybe I missed it but this would make a great blog post.

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  2. I would love to read that book, esp. just having been to Salem a couple of weeks ago!

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    1. JoJo, go to Amazon Kindle and you can read a free sample then decide if you would like to read the entire book.

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  3. Our cat Hobbes could open doors. Which meant containing her in the bathroom when she was bad or sick was out of the question as she'd just let herself out.

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    1. Diane, black cats have a way of messing with your head.

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  4. Stephen, I loved seeing your inspirational photos.

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    1. HR, i didn't grow up in the country, but I have driven through the country roads countless times and appreciate the inspiration they give.

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  5. Thanks Lee for hosting me today! I'll check in throughout the day.

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    1. Thanks for submitting your post to be a part of my blog!

      Lee

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  6. That's very cool how the ideas came. And that house does look spooky.

    Susan Says

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    1. Susan, old dilapitated barns and houses are always spooky.

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  7. That is an amazing house. I miss the old architectural styles, especially Victorians. Tiny bits and pieces of my life sneak into my stories, but I haven't gone whole hog yet. My life is finite; maybe I'm hoarding until a super strong idea comes along. Plus my parents were not very forthcoming about their childhoods. I have to drag details out of them, which is too bad. I love hearing anything they are willing to share.

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    1. Tamara, I sure hope you can find a way to dig deeper because what your parents have to tell is golden!

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  8. Great post, Stephen! Indeed, our own lives and memories and experiences—our own narrative—finds its way into our fiction in, I suspect, more ways than one. I know mine does :)

    The book sounds great—and great timing for the release, too, with Halloween around the corner. I wish you much, much success with it.
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

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    1. Guilie, thanks for your support! Thanks!

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  9. the pictures you show here would inspire and I love it that your parent's cats know how to open doors. That farmhouse must have been beautiful in its day. I love turrets. Your book does sound great and it's getting a lot of love

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    1. Birgit, yes at one time that diapitated house was once a work of art. Time to bring it into the present.

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  10. Enjoyed the post. Looking forward to reading the book
    Juneta Writer's Gambit

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  11. I've incorporated aspects of my own life and self into my books over the years, and indeed only remember some funny or interesting little vignettes from junior high and upper elementary school because I used them in first drafts written during those years or not long afterwards. The layout of my fictional Atlantic City neighborhood, and a few of the street names, are also based on the areas of Albany, NY where I grew up, and the all-grades school is based on my elementary school, which sadly was razed to the ground and rebuilt nearby some years back. I can still see the playground we built in 1985, the old fire escapes, and the different colors of paint used on all the stairwells. One of my characters started off based strongly on my dearest, oldest friend, and so her family and house are also modeled after her real-life family and the house she grew up in. Over time, they grew into their own characters, and I removed things which were too similar to real life and potentially unflattering.

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    1. I can relate to that. Some of the best books I've read I think used a similar approach. Doctorow's World's Fair is a good example of this.

      Lee

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    2. Carrie-Anne, Stephen King uses much of his childhood settings for his books. Pet Semetery comes to mind.

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  12. I do incorporate aspects of my life into my books. I think its impossible not to. I like the concept Narrative Identity; had not thought of it that way. The door opening cats are freaky. Mine would not open bedroom doors though, he'd be in the fridge all the time :)

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  13. I had a cat that could open doors like that, and she was also black. Maybe it has something to do with the color...

    My white cat is proud he figured out how to open the closet (a sliding door that folds in the middle, and he now opens it every time I close it.

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    1. DiscConnecte, cats have a way of befuddling us like that.

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  14. Hi, Arlee and Stephen,
    Those cats in the night would give me the willies.
    Smart animals.

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    1. J.L., these cats only want to study you and find ways to bring destruction to you and those close to you.

      Thanks for stopping by and saying hi!

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  15. Those cats would definitely freak me out! The scenery along the river there is breathtaking! I can see why it inspired a novel.

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    1. Meradeth, I love this scenery and have seen it first hand. I had to use it in the story.

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  16. Stephen, I can't wait to read Salem's Daughters! I love how the story came to be, using those three impactful experiences. The cats opening the doors are hilarious. I can truly imagine how scary that was as a kid, having the cats open the doors in the middle of the night. Wowsa.
    That old house is fabulous! I can't wait to read how you describe it in your book.
    Thanks for explaining Narrative Identity. Great writing tool!

    Great guest post Lee!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, I really think you'll enjoy it! Sometimes part of a story is the story behind the story.

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  17. Sometimes I use a narrative identity in terms of "writing about what I know" but at other times, I can make up stuff on my own while trying to do the research that might come with it.

    Salem's Daughters sounds like an interesting story!

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    1. Cynthia, I use both. Yeah, I do make a lot of stuff up.

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  18. Stephen, you had me at "glass knobs"! The cats, the countryside and that intriguing house and barn - no wonder you were compelled to write! Salem's Daughters is officially on my 'must read' list :-)
    I use narrative identity often, which is why I love to explore so many areas of Arizona.
    Wonderful post, guys!

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    1. diedra, of course Sedona comes to mind. I visited there once and would sure like to go back.

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    2. And Diedra long time no see. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

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  19. I've incorporated quite a few with my Imagine Hatt series and blog lol The Cat can open doors with ease too, can get rather annoying lol not as bad as his hair pit hair pulling fetish though

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    1. Yes these cats can open doors with ease
      To the gates of Hell as easy as a breeze
      They'll bring you one and all to your knees
      With four hundred years of mischief and mayhem it's a breeze

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  20. Interesting to learn how Salem's Daughter's came about, Stephen. I'm looking forward to reading your book. Smart cats, but that must have been unnerving! How cool that you met Dean Koontz; one of my favourite authors. I think most of us draw from personal experiences when writing. Thanks for the explanation of Narrative Identity.

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  21. Cool inspirations, Stephen. That house looks particularly spooky.

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  22. The accepted premise that cats are lazy creatures and are only cute furballs should be reconsidered. Your parents cats are indeed very unique lifeforms, treasure them and expect a visit from the USS Enterprise NCC 1701 soon, lol.

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  23. I try to add not such much personal family memories, but places that I've been or lived throughout the years in my home state of CT.

    As for cats opening doors, mine will open the bedroom door if there's enough space to slip her paw through.

    Father Nature's Corner

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