I’ve been telling the story on Facebook and Twitter about a small part in Sweet Melissa, another one of those autobiographical details, this one about my dear Aunt Linda. When I was a young girl, she ran away and joined the circus. I thought it was the most romantic thing ever. Now, probably, she was the girl who made cotton candy, but when I took my character to see her aunt, retired in Gibsonton, Florida, where all the circus performers used to winter, I started to spin more than cotton candy for Aunt Linda.
Especially when, in the Sarasota museum, I found this postcard that looks exactly like Aunt Linda in all her make up. She was no bareback rider. She was no tightrope walker. But that’s her face.
There’s more to Aunt Linda and me (and Melissa and her own version of my aunt) but the circus angle has hooked me from the time I was a little girl. What a thrill to sew our life stories into our fiction. And what a thrill to say Sweet Melissa is still FREE for a few more days.