My Novel is Based on a True Story. Can I Be Sued?

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Hi Angela,

I want to publish my novel with BookLocker (it’s my nature) about liability, as the novel is based on a true story. I’ve read your articles, as well as many others, about this issue, but am hesitant to proceed even after doing the obvious–changing characters’ names, appearances, and facts, so they don’t resemble the real people or exact events. Some of the principles of the true story are deceased, but at least one that I know of is still living. I think you mentioned that a lawyer should vet a novel, but I can’t afford that. My question: Am I worrying needlessly?

I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice.

No, you’re not worrying needlessly. You should proceed with caution. I recommend saving some money, and finding an attorney to vet the novel. But, even if they clear it, you can still get sued. Lawyers can’t guarantee somebody won’t sue you.

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