Yes, obituary. This was sent to me by author Carrie Vaccaro Nelkin and I find it completely inspiring.
Andrea Camilleri, the author of the Inspector Montalbano books, had his first bestseller at the age of 66. But did he stop? Nope, he wrote 90 more books until his death at age 93.
That’s not the only reason he inspires me. He forged his own path in another way:
What is not apparent to readers of the stories in translation or to the many non-Italian fans of the television series that sprang from them is that they are written in a language of the author’s creation: a blend of standard Italian with Sicilian dialect.
To publishers, Camilleri’s linguistic mish-mash, which even non-Sicilian Italians have difficulty in understanding at first, must have seemed like a refined form of literary suicide.
He told good stories using a style that wasn’t for the sake of being unconventional but because it worked best for him. I am in awe.
I’m printing that obituary out and keeping it nearby to remind me to keep writing, keep improving, and yes, I’ll be reading his Inspector Montalbano books very soon.
I live in New York City. Many of the street names are well-known, and placing a character walking along Madison Avenue won’t create sudden visitors in real life tracking the route the characters have taken.
But my next novel is taking place in an area where the towns are miles apart and the population is small. I’m currently writing it with the real names of towns and streets and stores so that I know where everyone is. But in the end, should I fictionalize that part?
What do you do, and why? (And if you’re not a writer, I’d like your opinion too.)