Want To Be In My Book?

“Has anyone ever asked you to add them to one of your stories? Have you told anyone that you were basing a character on them?”

Actually, only one person ever asked to be included in one of my stories, and I did accommodate him. The person in question was one of my students who was in the ninth grade. I liked him so I told him I’d put him in a book. He was a bit of a rascal, though, but the character in question was nothing like the real boy. I just used the boy’s real first name in the book. I let him be a sheriff’s deputy which pleased him greatly.

Even though most people don’t ask to be in a book, I’m sure that people I know appear in my books. I had a free-spirited friend whose love of life and adventure has shown up in several of my characters. I knew another woman who got into some serious trouble, and I used her middle name for one of my villains. I never told either of them, and they never knew.

Most of the time, though, I don’t generally have specific people in mind when I give my characters personality. I just think about what kind of character I want and flesh it out from there. Or do I?

My last release Turnaround Farm really pleased my husband. He doesn’t always like the things that happen to my characters, but he was very enthusiastic about my hero Dan Wakefield. “I like Dan,” he said. I didn’t think anything about it until I started editing the book. To my great surprise I found that Dan was based on my husband. I wonder why I didn’t realize it earlier because Dan is just like him. Wow. I wonder how many more of my characters are based on one specific person, and I didn’t realize it. Probably quite a few!

One last thing, my brother-in-law used to give me grief for writing romance novels. One day I told him he’d sure make an interesting character. He clammed up and hasn’t said anything else about my writing. I’m sure he was afraid of how he might be portrayed in the book. I bet a lot of people would feel the same way.

What about you? Would you like to be the inspiration for one of an author’s characters?

tf med


About Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel A New Leaf was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Press. When she isn't writing you can find Elaine playing with her dog or maybe collecting more vintage Christmas ornaments
This entry was posted in authors, characters, Elaine Cantrell, Miscellaneous. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Want To Be In My Book?

  1. trishafaye says:

    No living person has requested to be a character in any of my stories. (Although many appear there in ways similar to what you’ve mentioned here.) My problem is the ancestors from the past that won’t leave me alone and want their stories told LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I did a long post some time back on the fact that I absolutely have the problem of family members thinking that they are the ones portrayed in my stories and not liking what they see. FICTION, People, get over yourselves! I have never used their names and unless it was BASED ON a particular occurrence, it isn’t based on you. Parts are changed, anyway, so it isn’t you!
    One has to worry about what they want to hide…LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I can’t imagine any of my relatives asking to be portrayed in a book. I did tell someone I wanted to write about one of her experiences, and she ended up trying to write the book for me. I’ve pretty much dropped that project!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. kathleenbee says:

    I love the way you deflected your brother-in-law’s negative comments. I don’t think I’ve used anyone in particular in my books, but I’ve used bits of pieces of people’s personalities. I also used my cats’ personality traits in my book coming out called Cat Therapy. That was fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jeff Salter says:

    I think it’s cool the way your hubby identified with that character, Dan, and that you had not quite realized that Dan was inspired by hubby.


  6. I have written characters who later I realized were based on people in my life. While writing, it didn’t even occur to me.


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