Do you put people you know in your books?
Most writers are asked that question. Robert McKee (author of Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting) talked about this question in his presentation at the Chicago RWA convention in 1999. I recently found a copy of the tape and listened to it again.
Writers watch people, McKee said. They gather material through observation, assembling characters from the bits and pieces of people around them. Sort of like Dr. Frankenstein creating his monster.
More importantly, writers find characters in themselves, because the only person they can truly know is themselves. We understand other people the more we know ourselves, because we’re all fundamentally human. McKee points out that if we are thinking it or feeling it, then others are experiencing it too. Self-knowledge is the key to all great writing.
Okay, I’ll buy all that. I don’t have one person in mind when I create a character, but I admit to putting myself into each one of my characters.
I am working on a series for Resplendence Publishing called
Bluegrass Reunions. (They thought the boys they loved were out of their lives. They were wrong.)
In KENTUCKY COWBOY, hero Judd Romeo deals with the death of his mother, much like I dealt with my mother’s death in 2004. In KENTUCKY WOMAN, heroine Alexis Marsden is a single mom, like I was once. She will do anything for her son, including marrying for convenience. Again I create a single mom heroine in KENTUCKY FLAME, this time divorced. Been there, done that! Aimee Elliott, the heroine in the yet to be written KENTUCKY BRIDE, is an only child like me.
So you can see there’s a piece of me in everything I write. Here are more details about my series from Resplendence Publishing.
KENTUCKY COWBOY— She dumped him in high school because he was a risk-taker.
“Warmhearted and wonderful… Kentucky Cowboy is a keeper.” — Bestselling Author Joanne Rock
Winner—2006 PASIC Book of Your Heart Contest, Contemporary Series Romance
KENTUCKY WOMAN— She had his brother’s baby, but never forgot him.
Winner—2007 San Diego RWA’s Spring Into Romance Contest
2nd place—2007 PASIC Book of Your Heart Contest, contemporary series
KENTUCKY FLAME—She had his baby, but he left not knowing the truth.Available June 2, 2009
KENTUCKY BRIDE—She can never be sure if a man loves her for herself or for her father’s millions.