They say you should write what you know.
Many of us writers start with something we know. Then we take it to the next level. For example, I doubt that J. K. Rowling has ever met a wizard (one could hope), but she’s been down on her luck, like her protagonist Harry. She may even know a child that didn’t fit in—or perhaps it was based on her own childhood. Stephen King based his story Carrie on two girls he knew in his youth, though neither had psychokinetic powers. And one of my favorite authors, John Grisham, was inspired to write A Time To Kill on a real life case that shook him to his core.
My book, The Honey Trap is also based on real-life experiences. In fact, all my books are. But no, I wasn’t accused of embezzling, nor have I met anyone who has. But I read about a case where a young man was set up to take the fall for such a crime by his boss. Here’s where the real-life pieces come into play—the setting, the secondary characters, and the story arc are very, very real.
I’ve moved around the country a lot. With each transition I’ve met several characters who’ve inspired the supporting cast in The Honey Trap and the Bees of Honeyville series, including Steve Bastian, Aunt Libby, Shelly Harding, and Jeremy Hazlett. Trust me. My critique group heard the tales. With their encouragement, I weaved a little of these personalities into my cast.
But my inspiration for settings and characters are not limited to this book. Every single one of them has a little of me, where I’ve lived, where I’ve visited, and who I know weaved in.
While I’m not out chasing down fugitives, running an unsanctioned CIA operative, or saving the world from aliens, I’ve brushed shoulders with a few that are. So, thank you for the inspiration world. Let’s keep the stories coming.