I’m just back from the first leg of the paperback tour for Silver Sparrow. I am always asked how much of this story is “true”. How much is taken from my “real” life. Are these characters “based on real people.” It’s always a hard question to answer. For one, it seems like people are disappointed if you say you made it up. For one, they don’t believe you and so they get annoyed with you for holding out of them.
I don’t believe that my fiction is just my life wearing a fake nose and mustache. When I sit down to write a novel, I don’t take my life and “fictionalize” it, whatever that even means.
This is the best metaphor I have.
My fiction is emotionally autobiographical in that I have never written an emotion I have not experienced. For example, I have never been involved in a bigamist marraige. But like all adults, I have been in a situation where I have known, or suspected, that I didn’t have my lover’s undivided attention. So to write the character, Gwen, I just had to remember what that is like.
So here is my metaphor.
My fiction all has a kernel of truth. But it’s a kernel like an up-popped kernel of popcorn. My imagination is the hot oil. What you end up with comes from the kernel, but you would never recognise it.