How much of our lives and experiences do we imbue in our characters?
The places we have been, the settings we have seen in movies and travel brochures, and have read about in other books. I've never been on a pirate ship, met a rock star, been a carpenter or an artist, flown a helicopter, lived on an Italian island, worked on a luxury motor cruiser, been a witch librarian, worked in a Tuscan restaurant, been a massage therapist, travelled in time or invented cosmecuticals! But my characters have had these experiences.
|Rock star and time travel|
But I have loved and been loved.
I've fallen in love.
I've been a my wife and a mother, and a daughter and a sister.
I've been a friend.
I've experienced happiness and sadness, and frustration with the world.
I've taken risks. I've experienced the death of loved ones and I've cried for friends who have done it tough in many ways.
I've worked in a variety of careers and I've travelled much of the world.
But most importantly as an author, I have read. I've extended my life experiences and emotions by reading.
Reading has enriched my life and helped me hone my craft.
Last night I began to reread Anne of Green Gables...one of the first books I ever read, many, many years ago. As well as experiencing the life of Anne Shirley again, it took me back to my childhood and let memories and feelings surface that will influence my words as I write today.
As an author letting go of the real world and putting the stories in your head into words is liberating. You are able to bring your readers into worlds that they have never experienced and with careful research, you can create authentic worlds even if you have never been there. From your life experiences, you bring the emotions and the feelings that engage your reader.
Historical and paranormal genres require deep research and a vivid imagination. To be able to create authentic past worlds requires extensive reading. To be able to create imaginary worlds such as dystopian, steampunk or paranormal settings requires wonderful flights of imagination.
My latest release is dear to my heart. We had a sea change to the coast at a similar age to my characters, Dominic and Jilly. The beach I have used is where we still live today.
Is there a ghost in the story or not? Or can all the events be explained?
I'll leave that up to you.
I have to go and create a new world!
Christmas with the Boss
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1RwzGXM
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1L2ebvF
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1P1gFyh