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And then they made us be in this dumb Kabuki play about the 47 Ronin. . .

15 January 2011

One of the big concepts in 47 Echo is the Convict Conscript Act, which Congress passes at the start of the war. It basically forces anyone doing six months or more in any US prison system to serve their sentence in a convict military unit — it’s a way to bolster the US military forces without reinstating the draft.

Someone asked me once if I wrote that into the story because I’d gone to prison at some point, and the answer is. . . kind of. Just before writing the story, I spent an evening in jail (for being a forgetful writer-type and neglecting to pay a traffic ticket, then missing two court dates for the same reason). That incident kind of formed the idea for the whole book, because the people I met in jail seemed just as normal as you or me, no matter what they were there for.

So what real-life experiences do you twist into your fiction, folks? And what events in your favorite writers’ lives do you see in their work?

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