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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Author Insight: Is it the character or me?

Autobiographical bits sometimes sneak into stories. What part of your novel would no one guess is autobiographical?

"Like Hudson Avery in Bittersweet, I started competitively figure skating at age four. Unlike Hudson Avery in Bittersweet, I quit when I was about four and a few months." - Sarah Ockler, author of Bittersweet

"I'd almost rather not say.  Some aspects of the story happened in real life, and those things may well be false, or twisted, or just seen through my point of view and not how anyone else would remember them at all.  Point being, if I tell anyone what incidents in the novel were drawn from personal experience, that dulls and fades and devalues the ones that weren't, and that's just a no-win situation for everybody.  Either the whole story's true or it's not, and that's a deliberate choice of words: I don't think we best read fiction for fact.  We best read it for truth." - Leah Bobet, author of Above.

"In high school, I counted how often I masturbated for an entire year. That’s in the first line of my novel." - Aaron Karo, author of Lexapros & Cons.

"There are bits of me in many of the characters, probably all of the characters, but unless I’m deluding myself, there’s nothing specifically autobiographical in Where It Began.  In terms of the specifics.  In terms of the feelings, that’s another matter – having been in love for the first time, loved unwisely, had loyal friends, had sex for the first time, undervalued what I was good at, felt invisible, felt simultaneous sub-regular and vastly more insightful than the entire population of planet earth, having felt as if I was making it up as I went along…yeah, I’ve been there." - Ann Stampler, author of Where It Began.

"I don’t think I can answer that fully, on the grounds I might incriminate myself. Hacking Harvard is largely autobiographical, when it comes to the Lex storyline, but anyone who’s ever metme would probably guess that.  I will saythat in The Book of Blood and Shadow, the main character Nora has many reactions to things that weren’t consciouslyintended to be autobiographical, but when a close friend of mine read the book, she couldn’t stop laughing about how much they reminded her of me." - Robin Wasserman, author of The Book of Blood and Shadow.

"Ferocity Summer is set in the town I lived in as a teen, so I'm sure some people are going to think a lot of it is autobiographical. It isn't. However, like Scilla and Willow in Ferocity Summer, I did once stay in a cheap motel in St. Petersburg, Florida that for no reason that I could discern had an autographed picture of Steven Seagal hanging on the wall in the office." - Alissa Grosso, author of Ferocity Summer.

"Maybe that Cas and I are both afraid of spiders. Or that we were both won over by Thunder Bay's Saskatoon jam." - Kendare Blake, author of Girl of Nightmares.

"In Struck, my protagonist, Mia Price, has lightning scars all over her body that look like red veins etched on her skin (based on a real phenomena called Lichtenberg figures). Mia has to keep her skin covered up at all times. What’s autobiographical is that I hated my body so much when I was a teenager that I did the same thing. I tried not to let anyone see any part of me but my face." - Jennifer Bosworth, author of Struck

"There’s a scene in Forgotten where Luke’s toddler twin sisters are entertaining him and London. When I was writing the book, my own twins were only five months old, but parts of that scene are inspired by the antics of my sweet nephews, who were two and four at the time." - Cat Patrick, author of Revived.


 "I actually plant Easter Eggs in my stories for people I know. For instance, I have a cheese pact with authors Bria Quinlan and Jodi Meadows. Each of our stories mention cheese somewhere." - Gwen Hayes, author of Dreaming Awake.

"Autobiographical elements in mystuff tend to deal with music and animals. Like in Swear, there’s the bandBruise Blue and the curmudgeonly character Edgar Alan Crow. But that’s prettyblatantly autobiographical. Spend five minutes with me and I’ll wind up talkingabout either music or animals." - Nina Malkin, author of Swear.

Stop by Thursday to find out what's autobigraphical in the rest of the authors novels.
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