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Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Author Insight: Fictionalized Friends

  Have you ever based a character in part or fully on an actual person? If they read it, would they recognize themselves?

"I haven't. My real life and the people I know have nothing to do with my stories. When I create new characters, I give them a name and throw them into the story and wait to see who they will be and what they will do. They always tell me." - Lauren Destefano, author of Wither. 

 "All my characters are based on bits of real people, including myself.  For example, Shane Grimsley drives like my mom but he's got my friend Rachel's humor and smarts.  The only time I ever wholesale based a character on a real person was the character Nana from Deathday.  I might have embellished but that's how I remember her." - Shaun David Hutchinson, author of The Deathday Letter.

"The only character I've based on a person is Calla's younger brother, Ansel, who is loosely based on my little brother. Yes - Ansel is very much like brother at fifteen and he's aware of it." - Andrea Cremer, author of Nightshade

"This is one of my favorite stories ever: Certain parts of Victoria, the best friend in 'Audrey', were based on my best friend Adriana. (Only the good qualities, of course!) When I sent her the first half of the manuscript, I was so worried that she'd be upset that I'd 'stolen' her personality for a fictional character. She read it and called me immediately. 'I love it! It was great! Am *I* going to make an appearance anywhere in it?' She had no idea that she was all over the page! I still tease her about that." - Robin Benway, author of The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June

"Fully? Absolutely not. Many of my characters have been inspired by real people." - Jackie Kessler, author of Rage

"I tend to name characters after people, but not base characters on people. My one exception is a high school English teacher I had, who rocked. I think he might recognize himself if he read the high school history teacher in my book." - Cynthia Hand, author of Unearthly.

"I’ve borrowed clothing styles, jobs, personality traits from people I’ve met or seen at a distance and mashed them together with characters I’ve already developed. But I haven’t written characters based on people I know. Since I work at an elementary school (as a library technician), most of my teacher friends think they are “Sammi” a kindergarten teacher in UMS…lol…but she’s a mashup of impressions I have formed from my own kindergarten memories and from working in a school in general." - Judith Graves, author of Under My Skin.

"Of course not. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. *looks innocent*" - Rae Carson, author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

"The only time I’ve done it on purpose is with my main character’s mother, who is loosely based on my own mother. I don’t think my mother would have recognized herself if I hadn’t told her. But most of the time, when my characters resemble real people in my life, as they often do, it’s completely unconscious. Real life seeps into my writing all the time without my knowing it." - Veronica Roth, author of Divergent

"I have. I guess we'll see around May 24, 2011, won't we?" - Myra McEntire, author of Hourglass.


"All writers are magpies in the sense that we steal from everyone! Physical characteristics, traits, ways of speaking.... But no, I've never based one character off of one person." - Rachel Hawkins, author of Demonglass

"Yes and yes. :)" - Michelle Hodkin, author of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.

"There are characters who have aspects or characteristics of people I know, but I think probably in my first two novels the most recognizable person would be me. What was fascinating to me was when my daughter read the manuscript of my most recent book, she was convinced I'd based the sister character on her, and honestly the thought hadn't consciously crossed my mind at all. When I revised it again after she said that, I realized there were certain aspects of her, but it had been completely unintentional." - Sarah Darer Littman, author of Life, After.

 "The grandfather in SUNITA is exactly like my grandfather. The book is dedicated to him. Anybody who knew him (he's gone now) would have recognized him instantly. Other than that, most my protagonists are versions of myself." - Mitali Perkins, author of Bamboo People.

"No. The people I know are all boring." - Dia Reeves, author of Slice of Cherry.

"Most of my characters share traits with various people I know—many of them share some of my own traits, too.   People do recognize parts of themselves in my characters—but the weird thing is sometimes people recognize themselves in characters that aren’t based on them AT ALL." - Emily Wing Smith, author of The Way He Lived.

"Not ever an actual character, although I did use family and friends’ names (mostly teens) for the dead girls in The Body Finder and for some of the tertiary characters.  They had fun trying to find their names in the book." - Kimberly Derting, author of Desires of the Dead.

"Never!" - Kristi Cook, author of Haven.

"Personality-wise, not really.  But for characters' physical appearances, I'm often inspired by strangers.  In Snowball Effect, all of Lainey’s high school friends are based on a group of teens I saw at Red Lobster (Remember that scene where they’re all hanging out at a seafood restaurant?  Yeah).  Another time, I was at the flea market and walked past a guy who just WAS Vallery’s ex-boyfriend.  When I got back to the car I wrote down what he looked like and everything he was wearing.  That guy might be able to recognize himself but I bet he doesn’t read YA novels." - Holly Hoxter, author of The Snowball Effect.

On Tuesday find out if any of the authors have ever hidden anything they've written.

1 comment:

  1. I love this author insight series! And can I just say that seeing two of my favorites, Robin Benway and Andrea Cremer, just makes me happy.