I grew up in a North Philadelphia neighborhood called Kensington. I lived on Front Street, just south of Lehigh Avenue and two blocks north of where Kensington Avenue and Front Street meet. Often, especially in the quiet of the night, I heard the screech of the elevated train as it made that turn when Kensington suddenly curved right to continue north towards Northeast Philly.
Some of the stories I’ve written are set in Kensington. They’re based on my experiences, my memories, but are not exactly true, though somewhat true-to-life. I once read that Gene Sheppard, a humorist from the 50s and 60s (whose most well known work is In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, a collection of short stories made into the movie Christmas Story) said that, if you write in the first person, then readers believe the story is true.
I’ve probably paraphrased what Sheppard actually said. However, the essence is there.
So, none of these stories are true. The ones written in first-person point-of-view just seem like they are.
All of these stories do, however, hold some kernel of truth.
All of these stories were fun to write. Some were cathartic.