Life's like that, isn't it? Riddled with coincidences, some insignificant, some life changing. So hands up if you've never experienced a coincidence which seemed unbelievable. It happens to us all. But it only seems unbelievable, because of course these coincidences really happen. I could relate three anecdotes from my own life straight away, one of which is so eerily strange that I hesitate to relate it to anyone in case they think I'm a fantasist or bonkers. Or both. But it did happen, this completely unbelievable coincidence. It happened to me.
Fiction can't behave in that way. I remember being told (by The Editor), "Readers don't like coincidences".In my genre of crime fiction that's true. Writing crime thrillers, I try to make my books plausible and authentic. I think that makes them more frightening. Introducing a coincidence would immediately make the plot less convincing. It's not fair, is it? Real life can get away with the most absurd and unbelievable coincidences. Fiction can't.
On a more positive note, I chanced to sign into facebook yesterday evening where a fellow author had sent a message of congratulations on a great review of Dead End in The Times Saturday Review. I read the message just in time to nip out and buy a copy before the local supermarket closed, so was able to read it for myself. That's what I call a happy coincidence!