Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Getting Our Facts Right...

Recently, I received some really amazing feedback for one of my historicals A Promise Forged. First, you need to know a little about the story, set in 1943:

When  Kat Miller makes All-American Girls Professional Softball  League,  she  struggles with long road trips, grueling practices, and the   challenge  of making time for God. Not only that, but older teammates  are   jealous of her success and an irritating reporter, Jack Raymond,  has a   knack for getting under Kat’s skin.

I received a  package from my editor a few weeks ago. When I opened up this package, I  was instantly intrigued by its  contents, especially the black and  white baseball card autographed to me and the autobiography with a photo  of a female softball player on  the cover. The card is about to get put  in a shadowbox frame -- it's an amazing gift.

It also came with a letter: "...A friend  gave me the  book because she knew I had played in the All-American  Girls'  Professional Baseball League in 1954 for the Grand Rapids Chicks.  As I  read the book, it was like I was walking in Kat's shoes, reliving  my  life again.I am enclosing a book I wrote about my ball playing days,   and a signed baseball card....Thank you for the great story!"

This  type of feedback is a dream come true for a writer. It lets me know all my research paid off and I got the details right. How often have you  read a book that's moving along and then the author gets one fact wrong.  While you were going with the characters before, now you can't. The  error (no matter how small) is a glaring problem. It makes you doubt  everything else. 

So  for a historical, I spend time in archives and talking to historians  and people who lived it. For a suspense I talk to arson investigators,  police detectives, etc. But as a writer, I have to get the details  right. 

And when we do? Serendipity!


  1. you are so right! It's always nice getting feedback from a reader saying "thanks for getting the details right."
    Great post Cara!

  2. What a fantastic gift and unique form of encouragement! I've received many letters and emails from readers before, but never a special present like that one. Thanks for sharing, Cara!

  3. This is my favorite genre, and I admit I have a special place in my heart for this story. (Her name is Kat Miller, for one.)

    I think this is so encouraging. What a delight and I'm glad the reader took time to encourage you in what I think is your gift in writing. Write on!

  4. How wonderful for that woman to let you know what your work has meant. It always stuns me how God blesses in multiples - you, that reader, and now fellow writers. Thanks for sharing, Cara.

  5. Hi Cara,
    I just found this site and enjoyed reading about your book that supports
    the professional girl's baseball teams.
    Although far from being a Chrisitan film, I did love "League of their Own." But I also have been surprised to learn how many women did play baseball during those years.

    I grew up in East Lansing and I see that you played for Grand Rapids as a "Chick".
    This is so exciting about the gift you received from a former relative, I'm guessing who had someone close to them that played professional baseball too.

    Did you ever follow-up on any of the names from the movie to know if they were real or not? Our yongest son played through his first year of college baseball. And it seemed as if our lives were so involved with travel teams, regular high school games, summer American Legion and so forth. He is a missionary now and always makes sure the kids he works with have time to learn how to play ball!!

    Blessing to you,
    Diane Dean White