“Inspired by True Events.” Every time I see this phrase used in promoting some movie or book or television special, I want to laugh. The movie Windtalkers was “inspired by true events”. So was the movie Eight Below, which was apparently about a bunch of sled dogs that survived being abandoned by their owner in the Arctic (or Antarctic — I’ve never seen the film, and I get the impression that Hollywood doesn’t often stress about getting the distinction right anyway).
I think it’s a marvelous phrase, and I’m going to start using it for my own writing. For example, when Jennifer and I went down to my parents’ house to help them decorate their Christmas tree, we all had a conversation about Christmas stories and strange twists on them. Out of that conversation came “Night of the Frozen Elf”. Therefore, “Night of the Frozen Elf” was inspired by a true event — in this case, a conversation I had with my family.
Likewise, I’m declaring that The Solitude of the Tentacled Space Monster is also inspired by true events. I once knew a guy who had a crush on a girl that didn’t reciprocate his feelings, and from that improbable event sprang the idea for my novel about ancient alien deities and evil geniuses vying for control over the world.
“Inspired by true events”. Couldn’t be any truer.