Oh boy….I get asked this all the time by close friends, and usually the answer is “Not yet.”
It’s no secret that the Arbor University series is loosely based on myself, roommates, and others in my dormitory, because, let’s face it…..I quickly became the ‘ear’ of our wing. Anytime someone needed a shoulder to cry on, or just wanted advice about their relationships, guess whose door they knocked on? So yes, I had plenty of material to fictionalize.
Love On The Rocks: One of my 1st roommates.
Love Finds A Way: Based on my AF officer
Forbidden Love: Kyle is a mix of about three different guys.
Balancing Act: Based on the real-life emotional abuse suffered at the hands of a control freak.
Endless Love: Based on my best friend’s tumultuous relationship.
Searching For Love: When a friend came out of the closet, I knew I had to include her story.
#11 or 12, still yet to be titled: Based on an acquaintance.
My KJ (karaoke DJ) asked if I’d based a character on him yet, and when one of my stories was pulled, I ended up putting him and several others I sing karaoke with, into a short story.
As for Kenzie’s titles, I used one of my son’s teachers as the inspiration for Kevin in Teacher’s Pet.
All She Ever Wanted/Class Reunion: Stumped for the name of a secondary character, I combined two old friends’ names for a placeholder……and forgot to change it. Fast-forward eight years, and another friend ‘demanded’ I create a character using his last name and another friend’s first name, and Kira’s Slice Of Pizza was born.
As for pets, there are only two books that feature animals.
Off The Clock features Shadow the Black Lab….funny story. The day before it was due to be released, I was reading over the proof copy when it dawned on me that Shadow was only seen in the first chapter! I contacted my publisher and editor, and quickly wrote him in. Whew!
#14 of the Arbor U series: Keri has two goldfish, Ariel and Scuttle, then later Ursula, and a Beta, Flounder.
With only two exceptions, whenever I create a character based on a real person, I always show them the finished product, so if anything I’ve written hits too close to ‘home’, I can change it. So far, I’ve only had to revise one tiny detail in one of the books. Everyone else has loved the finished product.
As my BFF told me, “It’s nice to see how my life might have turned out, had I stayed on track!”
What about you? Have you written any friends or family into your stories?
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