July 4, 2018- First, let me say Happy Fourth of July to all of my American friends; I hope that you’re enjoying lots of celebrations!
We all spend a lot of time in public. Writers do too even though there is a common misconception that we never leave the confines of the same four walls because we are chained to our desks writing the next great Canadian/American novel. I think the difference is that authors listen carefully when they’re around other people. We have to because that’s where ideas come from.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve used a real-life conversation that I’ve overheard somewhere in one of my books. Whether it’s in line waiting for coffee, in line at the bank, or hanging out at the airport, there is always a massive amount of inspiration that is ready to be harvested. A particular conversation in my psychological thriller, Obsessed with Her, is a real-life conversation that I overheard in Starbucks one day while I was writing. That’s why it’s so imperative to always be prepared and carry some kind of writing utensil with you and something to write on because you never know when inspiration will strike like lightning! Worst case scenario you can whip out your cell phone and jot down some notes to implement into your writing later.
People often ask me if I write about real people in my novels. The answer is complicated and a sort of yes, but no. I take inspiration from people who I interact with, but the whole character is not based on them. Individual characteristics, oddities, and quirks often make it into the book, and if the person is unusual in the way that they speak, stand, or look, it’s definitely making it into my writing.
So, for every person who asks if I’m writing about them, I am.