You would think that anything that happened in real life could be written about and accepted by a New York publisher in a fiction novel. There are so many strange news reports that you would think the field of fiction would be wider, but it isn't the case.
For example, my family has recently suffered one blow after another. Last April may Uncle John died of cancer. He wasn't even 60 years old yet. The next month my cousin's grandson was born and immediately taken to Phoenix Children's Hospital. His fight for life was featured on several news channels in Phoenix. Trenton has had two heart surgeries and twenty-nine blood transfusions to top the list of treatments. A week ago last Sunday, I gave blood at one of the blood drives sponsored in his name. The next day, my cousin Jeff Randall, died in a small plane crash while working for First Solar. There were a couple of articles written about that tragedy. Five days later, my grandmother, Paula, pictured above, passed away. We held her memorial yesterday,
All of this happened within a five month period. If I created a heroine and she had to face these tragedies, an editor would probably tell me it felt contrived. As writers, we are supposed to create tragic circumstances for our characters to face and endure; but keep in mind, reality is stranger than fiction. If your gut tells you your heroine is facing too many, your editor might think so too. On the other hand, we can do anything we like to our characters if we ;publish the book ourselves. In self-publishing fiction can always be stranger than reality.