There’s so much of myself in my writing. I get asked; “Which character is actually you?” I suppose the only honest answer is all of them and none of them. I don’t have any characters that are actually anyone that I know. They are fictional. They are inspired composites of people that have affected me. These characters and I’ve been playing together for years now. Even if they did originally show any resemblance to someone I’ve met, they’ve changed and morphed into their own personalities.
A great example comes from one of my main characters. She’s been trying to quit smoking for years. She’s always on her last pack. When a stressful situation arises, she needs to step out for a smokey treat. I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life, not once. So why does this character smoke? It’s just a habit that suits her personality. I can’t picture her NOT being a smoker. She didn’t start out this way when I first wrote her character, but once I got to know her better, I just knew that this was one of her habits. I’m not sure if she’ll ever actually quit. She also drinks a ton of coffee. This IS a habit that we share. My coffee consumption is epic, although I like my coffee with way less sugar.
I think that characters become a writer’s closest friends. Like friends, in order to get along, you have to have things in common. Even still, I write about vampires, and not all of them are very nice. Some of the most enjoyable pieces I’ve written are when my vampires are “behaving badly”. (Wood chippers and vampires are NOT a healthy combination!) The irony is, I don’t like the sight of blood. I’ve never received a ticket for speeding. I can go years without calling in sick at work. I’ve never shoplifted, not even as a kid. I was a “good kid” who turned into a “good adult” who sometimes enjoys writing about things that are hiding in the shadows.