Summer of '76

Will the real Carensa Holt step forward, please?

Early drawing of CarensaI know you want to ask the question. After all, there are photos on the website. So is Carensa Holt a real person? Did she exist? Does she exist?

And the answer is a resounding “Yes and No”. To make it perfectly clear: This is a novel, a work of fiction. Carensa Holt is a figment of my imagination. However, sometimes those figments get rather lively and develop their own minds and personalities. Some days that makes writing the novel a bit like herding cats. And since this story got started a number of years ago, I’ve known Carensa for a long time by now.

But back to the issue at hand. No, there is not a girl (well, woman today, years later) sitting out there somewhere who is the “real life” Carensa — just under a different name. Not that there aren’t some who come close. The character Carensa Holt is a composite of a number of people, female and male, whom I had the good fortune to meet and get to know in years of traveling around Europe. And so the best conclusion really is that Carensa could have been real. She could have existed. And if she had, I think that she would have gone to all those places and experienced all the things that happen in the book.

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