No matter what book event I’m at or which side of the map it’s on, someone is always going to ask me, “Are any of the characters you write about you or people you know?”
As an author, I write what I know first, research what I don’t know, and then I make up all the rest! Writing what I know may sound pretty easy, but when I’m writing about my own life experiences and emotions, it’s not always so easy. Yes, the characters I write about are me; the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s writing about the ugly side of me that gives me pause and makes it often difficult to press through.
My books are people driven. I only refer to the people I write about as characters for industry sake. When I first started writing books I wrote about characters. Once I started to receive emails and testimonies from readers about how the lives in my stories mirrored their own or someone they knew, I realized then that some readers didn’t see the people I was writing about as some fictitious being. They were real and their lives were real. More importantly, they were emotionally connected. At that point I knew I couldn’t deny my readers of what they longed for, which is a connection/relationship with the people I write about. I had to give them real live people with real life situations. I could no longer create these plots and scenarios just because they sounded like they would make for good drama and a great twist. Heck, real life is filled with enough drama, twists and turns of its own. So why not just bring the real and bring the truth? Readers can relate to something that not only feels real, but they know to be real. Readers who attended National Book Club Conference 2016 got to experience just how real it can sometimes get when reading my books.