Fact Based Fiction
Yes, The Color of Character is fiction. But the life of Glen Feigman is based on real events in my life, the lives of friends and family, and from current events during the time the story takes place. 1970 was a turbulent time. My coming of age occurred during the social revolutions of the late 1960s and early 1970s. I went to a school struggling with integration, and I was enveloped with guilt and trepidation as I gained awareness that I was (am) gay. In 1970 that meant a grim future. This adolescent stew informed my insights into character, race relations, prejudice, judgement, and social relationships – the things that are so relevant to American society today.
Safe Spaces are Detrimental to Improvement
The story is brutally honest and will surely be considered politically incorrect by some, because although the narrative is truthful, the truth is irrelevant to someone with a closed mind and a more popular, fixed point of view.
Who is Glen Shuld vs. Glen Feigenbaum?
I’ve recently participated in two self-revealing interviews, the first is written, and the second is oral. In Fiona McVie’s written Author Interviews, I talk about my background, my motivation to write The Color of Character, why I wish to continue writing, and even my favorite color. I discuss influences in my literary life and my aspirations. That interview is here.
I had a candid and open oral interview with Ed Tracy on his popular podcast, Conversations With Ed Tracy. In that interview I talk mostly about the race relations in The Color of Character, along with the typical growing pains of junior high school students. While the story takes place in 1970, if certain references are removed, it could be written about a student today. Mr. Tracy and others have said I am brave to talk about the book’s content. My response is that the book is based on my reality – my truth – and it is unfortunate if being honest about one’s life requires courage.
Some might find the story informative with revealing insights, while others might find it uncomfortable. To the former group I would say, “Good!” One of my goals in writing the book was to encourage honest, open dialogue among people with all points of view on race relations in America today. Come together without prejudgment, finger pointing, hostility, and closed minds. Listen. Listen. Listen. Understand each other’s reality. What might be judged as racist to some might only be an experienced based reaction, or something else entirely.
To those who are uncomfortable with the story, I remind you that the events are set firmly in fact, and to paraphrase the late Senator Moynihan, you are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.
Listen to the interview here.
Thank you to everyone who has read The Color of Character. It is thrilling when a reader tells me that the book is thought provoking, and that the story stuck with him or her long after it ended, or even motivated him or her to find ways to improve race relations, and not to feel defeated by them.