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Fiction Conventions of Reality by Alison Neuman

The genre of fiction can offer the writer a choice of locations and settings. When writing Ice Rose - A Young Adult Spy Novel, I had to research to ensure the reader was not transported out of the world of story. There were two areas in which I had limited knowledge and that required practicalities and realities: cruise ships and trained dogs. While I live in Alberta, Canada, a distance from the ocean, research on the design and architecture of a ship was easily accessed. I needed to understand and know routes and distance relating to time. My cruise could not depart from Vancouver and arrive in California in an unreasonable amount of time. Tours offered by cruise companies provided information. Reality provided the details as to speed, distance, and travel itineraries. 

I am close to finishing the second draft of my new YA novel, “Hindsight”. It is science fiction with a romantic twist. Olivia falls for David who has a secret that cannot be exposed to the world. A secret, when revealed, that threatens not only her life but also her family. Will Olivia be able to accept his secret and evade the danger trying to extinguish everything David cares about? This book’s setting is Edmonton, Alberta and each place the characters explore is linked to authentic places. Locations provided opportunities to explore Edmonton's river valley, residential neighbourhoods, and transit system. In one scene, the characters are fatally injured and the editor pondered if such injuries are plausible. An EMT had suggested adding details to improve the possibility of severe injury. Such a morbid research topic but again, to be believable, the convention of reality requires research.

About the Author

No one ever expected Alison Neuman to live past the age of three, let alone become a successful author and performer.  

Now, an inspirational figure, Neuman has never let the painful disease she suffers with, dermatomyositis, dictate what she can and cannot achieve in her life.

An award-winning singer, Neuman has even done dance performances with the iDance and Cripsie Groups in her native Edmonton, Alberta, Canadian hometown.  Along the way, she has become a college graduate, earning a degree in creative writing from MacEwen College, despite being told she'd never amount to anything.

Searching for Normal is her memoir and anthem to anyone who is suffering through sickness or obstacles that seem too impossible to overcome.

"You can and will achieve life's greatest dreams," Neuman says, "if you take it one step at a time; even if that step is while you navigate via a wheelchair."

You can reach Alison via: Website | Facebook | Twitter

About the Book

They thought she was going to die. At three-and-a-half years old, bed-ridden shivering in a cold sweat, Alison Neuman's tiny fingers wrap around her mother's for strength.  But even at this age, Alison is determined to beat the odds.  

When years of hospitalization robs her of most of her childhood, she finds joy.

When children and adults avoid her like the plague, she finds friendship.

When she cracks her skull in a playground accident, when her math teacher holds her back a grade, and when she is mistreated by the medical professionals that were entrusted to help her, she finds strength.

And even when it becomes clear that the painful disease she has, dermatomyositis, will leave her wheel-chair bound for the rest of her life, Alison does not let it defeat her.

She will conquer it, she will achieve her greatest dreams and along her journey to finding normal,  she will find joy, humor, passion and music.

In this inspirational true story, Alison Neuman tells of her daily mission to triumph over pain,  to prove wrong the naysayers that say she "cannot", and become a reminder to us all that can't is only a mindset and happiness is a choice.

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Q & A with author Sally Wiener Grotta