Wednesday, April 04, 2012

OMN Welcomes Mystery Author Debra R. Borys

Omnimystery News: Authors on Tour

Omnimystery News is pleased to welcome mystery author Debra R. Borys, whose new novel of suspense is Painted Black (New Libri Press, February 2012 trade paperback and ebook editions).

Today Debra writes about reflecting reality in fiction.

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My mother once told me I should write about my real life. My answer at the time was, I had to live through it once, why would I want to go through that again? Later, I realized I do write about my life. My life as told through fiction.

Debra R. Borys
Photo provided courtesy of
Debra R. Borys

When I look back at things I've written, even when I don't know the exact date it was produced, I know exactly what era. And not just from the quality of the writing. One story takes me back to the romantic youth I was—looking for love and believing there was one soul mate for everyone out there somewhere. I can tell when I wrote it not just due to the fact that it is obviously immature craft, but because the plotline I chose and the viewpoints of the characters reflect who I was and what I believed in at the time of the writing.

Another story reminds me of a time when I was influenced by my peers to wax politically conservative. An old novel takes me back to when I finally realized being attracted to the wounded male was not romantic but foolish. These are examples of how a writer's real life creeps into their fiction without even trying.

All fiction is reality, really.

I don't believe you can write any book without writing about real life at the same time. It creeps even into the wildest science fiction and fantasy. I have written a series of short stories set in a dystopian world that falls somewhere between those two genres. The kernel of the world I created is the premise that life once was the way we see it today and the choices humanity made led to the universe of my Last Generation. Even a world or characters that have no connection to human beings relies on how the readers understanding of the real world cause us interpret the motivation and goals of these strange creatures.

It is sometimes difficult to tell which comes first, the reality or the fiction. I moved to Chicago from small town Illinois specifically with the idea in mind of having an opportunity to volunteer with the homeless. I know I had already begun writing my Jo Sullivan series before the move, but can't remember now when I decided to center each book around the life of a homeless character. Does the writer write what she dreams and then find herself living it, or does the act of writing spark change in the life of the writer?

For me, and I believe there are many people like me, I learn more about life from reading fiction than from reading non-fiction. One reason is because I don't even like reading non-fiction. I can't remember ever completing a non-fiction book unless it was about the craft of writing. So the only way books could teach me about real life was by disguising it as fiction.

Someday my focus and purpose for writing may undergo another transformation. I may find myself looking back on my Jo Sullivan novels and see them as being reflective of who I was at the time. Even if that's true, knowing the reality of what life is like for the homeless changed my life. Not everyone can have the experience I did first hand. By sharing this reality maybe change can happen to others, even if only to a small degree.

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Debra R. Borys spent eight years volunteering with homeless on the streets of both Chicago and Seattle. She is a freelance writer and the author of several short stories and is currently working on a second novel in the Jo Sullivan series, which reflects the reality of throw away youth striving to survive.

To learn more about the author and her book, visit her websites at and

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Painted Black by Debra R. Borys Print and/or Kindle Edition

Barnes&Noble Print Edition and/or Nook Book

Apple iTunes iBookstore

Indie Bound: Independent Bookstores

About Painted Black:

Jo Sullivan just wanted some new material for her column in Winds of Change, a weekly rag willing to dust the dirt off the seamier side of Chicago. Then she meets fifteen-year-old Lexie Green, with her haunting eyes, eerie tale, and the terror that sends the girl fleeing into the night. When Lexie disappears, Jo finds herself haunted by her own dark past and unable to ignore the anonymous faces of youth on the streets, Together with Cry, a street graffiti artist and friend of Lexie, Jo uncovers a path littered with corpses, corporate greed and one man's private collection of freeze-dried cadavers.

Christopher Robert Young, Cry for short, told himself he went with Lexie to keep her safe, that it had nothing to do with his struggle to avoid hustling along the harbor like Moon and the others. Selling blow jobs for forty bucks, however, pales in comparison to what he finds in Cole's apartment above the funeral home. And even a hungry kid will only go so far to fill his stomach. In the ensuing struggle, Chris escapes but Lexie does not and that fact still haunts him.

Sidney Cole's fascination with death has soothed him since childhood. Since the first dead pigeon he kept in a shoe box under his bed so he could stroke the downy feathers, to the first failed experiment in human sublimation he should have disposed of — but didn't. He just wants to be left alone with his collection, and his fantasies. And Philip Quinlan had promised him peace.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this opportunity to guest post. I love your site!


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