Saturday, December 3, 2011
DO AUTHORS FIND CHARACTERS IN THEIR PEOPLE? YOU BETCHA
I am a people person or should say, a people magnet really. My "other" job is all about people, which gives me plenty of fodder in my larder when writing.
In my first book, "The Timeless Counselor" –– a non-fiction –– I wrote about clients' sessions, but changed the names of course. If you've read that, you see how their stories could actually become a fictional tale or two.
In my novel, oh yum, yum! How fun picking bits and pieces of personalities and situations from a host of characters I've encountered in life.
Even my own family says, 'hey! is that me?' I say of 'course not!'
In truth bits and pieces are my parents, sisters and even my brothers. And then there were others life neighborhood friends. One friend, upon reading the book, called me and said 'loved reading about myself in your book'.
My brothers moaned 'You only used sisters where's the brothers?' Maybe a part of the sisters is the brothers, I told them.
In one chapter of the novel, "The Skye in June - fictional (but of course!)I used a crime committed in the early 1960's in my neighborhood to create fiction between the MacDonald family and more so for the main character, June.
Although I remember the story, research was still necessary to stir real and imaginary pictures to put into enticing words.
One of the people involved in this serious crime (all teen boys) read my book then remarked, "I see I made your story." He wasn't angry or upset. Names had been changed, it was an old crime but still part of the changing environs in "the Castro" of San Francisco and only a few would recognize the old story.
Readers from my 'old hood' during the story's era in San Francisco, contact me all the time to share their own experiences of growing up in what became a world famous neighborhood, "the Castro". Those who went to Catholic school also have much to say about their experience with nuns. Readers who went to the same parochial school I did and wrote about in the book, recognize the nuns by their real names and not the ones I gave them. That is fun! Of course the names have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty.
As I work on my new novel the characters are created more so by me, but still I reflect back on the later 1960 days in San Francisco and have many characters to draw from.
What about the characters in your life? Will they end up in a story?
Read more about the story and get in on the great Holiday Special at www.juneahern.com My books are also e-books!