“So…who’s who?” a friend asked about my first book.
I blinked then honestly replied, “None of my characters are based on my friends.”
“Really? Some of us have been trying to figure out which character we each are.”
This I found amusing as well as surprising; however, it wasn’t the first time the question has come up. I mean it does make sense that if you have a friend who writes, you might assume at some point you will be plopped into one of their works. And maybe that’s true given enough time. Nevertheless, for me with my first book in print and another about to be published, this is not the case.
Actually none of the characters in my first two series—yes, I just said two, are based on people I know. In some of my earlier blogs, I share how characters in the Incarn Saga have written themselves. This is still true. The next series is based on characters that I developed long, long ago before I had met most of my current friends. Yet there are exceptions. One character is based off a fanciful variant of myself. Another is my sister. Well, more like the character she created during our years of make-believe. Outside of those, all others will be genuinely unique.
Back to the question of “Who’s who?” Though no character is based on a friend or family member, I do take situations and experiences that I have had and intersperse them throughout my novels. So, in that sense, if one of my friends suspects that character A is him or her, they could be picking up on an event or situation that we both experienced.
Write what you know is popular advice in the literary community. While my stories are high fantasy that does not mean there are not thin wisps of experiences or actual memories incorporated throughout. They are there in veiled forms. That’s why next time somebody asks, “So…which one am I?” I will probably answer, “You are none and multiple.” Let’s see if they figure that out!