Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tip O'Day #320 - Fictional Reality

Guest blogger Kenneth Weene answers “How I know Cal.”

Knowing that I’m not much of a drinker, my friend John wondered how I had met Cal, the protagonist of my latest book, Tales From the Dew Drop Inne. “Was he a client?” he asked; after all I had been a shrink for years.

We had met for coffee, and John was full of praise for my writing. I sipped my latte and resisted the temptation to laugh.

“Does he live here in Phoenix?”

This required a bite of almond biscotti, which was a mistake; I started to cough. I rolled my eyes, cleared my throat, and gave John the best answer I could. “He lives everywhere.”

That was obviously unsatisfying. John’s pretty literal; he hadn’t understood that Dew Drop is a work of fiction. Not too long before, I had seen a Facebook comment about a true novel. That had led my mind to another oxymoron, fictional reality. I thought about what I might say to John.

A writer makes up his world; I call it a fictional reality. The places, the people, the events: none of them are real, but they are all true. None of them exist in a single place, but they all are universal – at least that’s what the writer hopes.

As John would scratch his head and look confused, I might have added:

We authors are a strange breed. We are like gods. We make it up and bring it to life. You want to meet Cal, read the book. You want to try a Killer’s Delight, ask Sal to make “yous” one. You want to laugh and cry with people too real to walk the streets, visit The Dew Drop Inne.

That’s what I thought of saying; of course I didn’t say it. After all, we magicians never reveal our tricks. So I just said, “Well, he did live here, but he moved on. You know those barflies; they never settle down.”

John nodded his head sagely. “Yeah, poor guys.”

I turned the conversation to the baseball season.

“I never knew there was a minor league team in Davenport,” John said. “I like learning stuff like that.”

Well, my friend had learned something. Better yet, he had enjoyed the book. The latte was hot, the biscotti crunchy, and life was good.

Try this book trailer to learn a bit more about Tales From the Dew Drop Inne.


  1. There is only one Ken Weene:) I highly recommend his works.Every story is a greater lesson of life.

  2. Kenneth, you are truly a magician of words!