The Fun of Fiction: Using Famous People, Infamous Mobsters, and Real Places – Guest Post by Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton

In a way, the Onyx Webb series can sometimes feel like Forrest Gump. What do we mean by that? If you’ve seen the movie, Forrest ends up in the middle of some of our country’s most noteworthy historical events. We have done the same in a way, and though we’ve used some recognizable people and places, it is ultimately a product of our wacky imaginations!

Sam Giancana, wikipedia

Sam Giancana, wikipedia

Infamous mobsters: We included some real life famous mobsters in the book as well as some made up ones.  The idea to include mobsters was largely the result of Richard’s having grown up in Chicago, not very far from where the Villa Venice, of which mobster Sam Giancana was involved. The Villa Venice also served as the site of one of the Rat Pack’s greatest live albums. The album includes many mob jokes and references made by Frank, Sammie, and Dean. Were any of them “involved” with the mob? It’s hard to say.

Disney World in Florida, pixabay

Disney World in Florida, pixabay

Famous People: Walt Disney is another famous person that makes an appearance in these episodes. Not only do we live near Disney World, Richard used to work for Disney in their film distribution department at the studios in Burbank, California—not that this gives us any insight into what Walt would think about anything! However, we do know Walt Disney was a tireless promoter who would most likely find our little “shout out” to be a compliment. With Disney and all other “real” people referenced in the series, we go to great lengths to avoid any possible disparagement of character. The bad stuff is never done by the real people we’ve referenced—it’s always done by the fictional characters we’ve created.

eggplant Parmesan balls at the Purple Pig, flickr

eggplant Parmesan balls at the Purple Pig, flickr

Real Places: It’s funny when you make something up and it turns out that it’s real. There is a bar in our book called The Purple Pig in Chicago, which it turns out is actually a real restaurant/bar in Chicago. I guess that’s why it’s helpful to mention the word “coincidence” in our disclaimer. Who knows how many other things we have included in our books that are real? So it is funny to us that we did not even realize that there was a restaurant in Chicago called The Purple Pig. We had researched the idea of bar owners charging money to get a glimpse of an animal (usually a pig, which is where the term “pig bar” originated) and then giving away a free drink during prohibition. So, we decided to make the pig purple, hence the name. In our story, Onyx’s lousy husband Ulrich visits the “pig bar” and gets completely drunk. We just looked at the menu, and the next time we’re in Chicago, we’re going!

Recommended Articles:
Onyx Webb: Book Three: Episodes 7, 8, & 9 – a Review

Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz Guest Post/Interview – Music, Historical Events, & Developing Characters

No Flood is Too Strange

  2 comments for “The Fun of Fiction: Using Famous People, Infamous Mobsters, and Real Places – Guest Post by Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton

  1. November 16, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Thanks for hosting Andrea and Richard!

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