Alan Reynolds' Oak and Mimosa preface in the book Sometimes in Balance:

Oak and Mimosa began as Take One Hundred People, a novel about people I knew or knew about: family members, at least almost family of each other, who had been dead for more than ten years, an expanding list
But the prose seeped away, turning into stories in verse from people speaking from beyond the grave.
I was not able to summon them. It was the other way around. I could not will their stanzas into existence; I could only shape the visions that they sent my way.
Two uncles, brothers of each other, laughed as each told me his own story. Why? Because I think they knew that I would retell them here so other people could read their lines, their laughs, their adventures.
These people deserve to be known: aunts and uncles, grandparents and their grandparents, friends, retainers, acquaintances and relatives all the way back to Sally F’s fourth-great-grandmother Annie Laurie Maxwelton who inspired the Annie Laurie they still sing in the Highlands.
And then there is Nannie Owen, in the photograph, about whom I know nothing except from knowing her when I was a small child: that she was kind, a bit sparkling, and that she dressed in shimmery black-blue dresses that reminded me of guinea fowl.