Does My Fiction Mirror My Real Life?

When I’m reading, I always wonder how much of a story came from an author’s life in some way, no matter how small. And I’m often asked how much of what happens in You’ll Be Thinking of Me came from my life. If you’re not familiar with the story, it’s about a young woman who has a chance encounter with a celebrity and an impromptu video of them taken on her phone ends up triggering the ire of a demented stalker.

Just to set the record straight, I’ve never been stalked. Don’t know anyone who has been stalked. That storyline was the result of research. But here are a few tidbits in the story that were drawn from my (far calmer) life.

The Brownstone—I owned a brownstone in Brooklyn several years ago. The description of the brownstone and the street  were real.

Louisiana—both MCs were born in Louisiana. So was I, and I drew on the characters and the atmosphere that I remember so well.

Cora—She’s the male MC’s mom. I had an aunt named Cora, but the character is an amalgam of all the southern “aunts” I knew growing up. I have a real fondness for Cora and for my memories of all the sweet Southern women in my life.

Heloise—I knew a woman, named Heloise, who lived on the same street as the Brooklyn brownstone and I was invited in for tea once. The character in the book is different, but her place and the tea drinking was drawn from a real-life experience.

Zabar’s—I lived in NYC for 13 years and have been in Zabar’s gourmet shop many times. So, yes, this came from real life.

Rachael—I’m much older than my female MC, but people who have known me for a long time, say they hear my voice in her thoughts and dialogue. It wasn’t intentional, it just came through.

Tattoos—I have no tattoos, but even at my age, I find the idea irresistible. Maybe when You’ll Be Thinking of Me gets made into a movie I’ll get a tiny tattoo to celebrate. 🙂

Anything else in the story that you wondered if it was based on something that actually happened?