Friday, June 21, 2019

Real Life Incidents Might Sneak into Your Book

Thanks to Rhobin this group has another interesting topic to discuss. Has an event in your life, or that of someone you know, or one covered in the news ever worked its way into one of your stories? I can’t wait to see what the other authors have to say.

As for me, yes, events have worked their way into my books. Usually they’re small events and sometimes it’s something I do specifically for research in a book. For example, when we were on a Caribbean cruise I decided to write “A Cruise to Remember.” I made notes about the ports we stopped at, the stores and taxis around the port, and some of the events on board. I also visited the ship’s infirmary and asked for a tour so I’d know what the medical resources were like. All of that was used in the book. Maybe that’s more like research, but I didn’t decide to write the book until we took that first cruise.
When I was writing Hunted, I stayed at The Empress hotel in Victoria, BC. for a writing workshop. It’s a very old hotel, beautiful inside and a major, expensive tourist attraction. Wandering through the hotel and I looked down into the lobby from the mezzanine and I suddenly visualized my h/h there and went back and wrote the hotel lobby and mezzanine in the first scene of the book.
Dog walkers were becoming more popular so I got an idea for a plot and made my heroine a dog walker who walked in on a murder in an early book. I’ve had people that I met or worked with that I have used in stories, usually as villains or unlikeable characters.  

And there are other incidents that I remember in my life that will be included in future books. Now to check out what other authors have to say on the topic. Please check out the following authors.

Victoria Chatham
Skye Taylor
Judith Copek
Dr. Bob Rich
Connie Vines
Margaret Fieland
Anne Stenhouse
A.J. Maguire
Diane Bator
Fiona McGier
Rhobin L Courtright


  1. Your experience-research while visiting places is a great resource for your stories!

  2. Glad to know I'm not the only one who gets really "into" the research and ends up experiencing things I can put into my books.

    1. Skye, I'm guessing a lot of writers either intentionally or not, put a touch of "real' from their life into stories.

  3. Absolutely, all the time. Most everything I write has a touch of 'real' to it. Either from my life or others I know.

  4. Hi Beverley, I so relate to that feeling of being overwhelmed by place. The first short story I was paid for was based on a local house I had to walk my children past to school every day. The garden was overgrown and the owners had two rather boisterous dogs. the children were rather nervous as a result. The story wasn't about the dogs, though, but about life getting out of control. anne stenhouse

    1. Anne, I can completely see where you could relate the overgrown yard to life out of control - just no time to do things.

  5. You've used your real life experiences in interesting ways. Love the idea of the dog walker and also the hotel. We need to use everything life gives us to enrich our fiction.