Reality or Make-believe?
My t-shirt reads, “Careful or I’ll put you in my novel.” It usually gets a laugh. I have a mug that says something similar. Maybe if I wrote suspense, it would be intimidating even. But I write romance.
Still, every now and then, I have to be careful to make sure my characters aren’t too much like someone I know in real life. After all, if I base one on someone I love and they feel I did it wrong, that could lead to awkward family dinners in the future. Right?
Needless to say, when I set out to write my latest novel, based on what “could have been” my life if I’d made different choices, I knew my character also needed to be a preacher’s daughter. I wanted her history to be a lot like mine. But what to do about her dad.
My dad is my biggest fan. He’s the one I can talk to for over an hour and never run out of things to say. Growing up, if I needed to vent or talk through something, his office was where I went. I’m a daddy’s girl through-and-through, probably why I don’t mind that my daughter is one, too. I get it.
But to make my preacher dad character in my book just like my dad wasn’t going to completely work. Because my character Adrian is estranged from God … and her dad. And her dad isn’t sure how to talk to her without making things worse.
My dad still has a full head of silvery-white hair. It’s gorgeous, honestly. And a beard and mustache—he’s had the mustache as long as I can remember. In my book, the dad is balding and clean-shaven. There’s a few things to differentiate the dads.
But then, some similarities snuck in even without my meaning them to. His office with a rather untidy desk full of papers and books, shelves loaded down with research volumes. His tendency to walk over to the small church building just down the block on a Saturday evening so he can adjust the temperature to be comfortable on Sunday morning. The way he rises super early on Sunday so he can study over his lesson again and make sure he remembers everything he wants to say. Those are all my dad.
Maybe it’s harder than I thought to keep my characters from having at least a few characteristics of people I love in real life. I’m sure the heroes all have a bit of my husband in them. Because how can I write someone to fall in love with without basing it on someone I love? And I know the heroines all have some of me. It would be impossible to not give them at least a little of my sense of humor or favorites things (like snickerdoodles and old movies).
Perhaps I worry too much about how much reality creeps into my books. Maybe instead, I should simply write what is put on my heart and let my readers guess about what is based on real life and what is simply made up.
Do you ever wonder how much an author includes from her own life in her stories?
Check out Amy’s newest release No Place Like Home
No Place Like Home
by Amy R Anguish
Can love secure Adrian’s wandering heart?
Roots are overrated, at least to someone like Adrian Stewart, preacher’s kid, who has never lived anywhere longer than six years. That’s why her job with MidUSLogIn is so perfect for her—lots of travel and staying nowhere long enough to have it feel like home. But when work takes her to Memphis, TN, closer to her family for the first time in years, and in the same small office as Grayson Roberts, she starts to question her job, her lack of home, and even her memories of her rocky past with the church.
Gray is intrigued by Adrian from the moment he sees her, and he’s determined to get to the bottom of why this girl who loves old movies and hums when she works won’t go to church with him. As they grow closer, he wants more, too, but how can he convince her to stay in Memphis when she doesn’t believe in home—or God? Can he use his own broken past to break through hers?
You can find No Place Like Home at Amazon
About the Author:
Amy R Anguish grew up a preacher’s kid, and in spite of having lived in seven different states that are all south of the Mason Dixon line, she is not a football fan. Currently, she resides in Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and son, and usually a bossy cat or two. Amy has an English degree from Freed-Hardeman University that she intends to use to glorify God, and she wants her stories to show that while Christians face real struggles, it can still work out for good.
Learn more about her books at https://www.pinterest.com/msguish/my-books/ And check out the YouTube channel she does with two other authors, Once Upon a Page (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEiu-jq-KE-VMIjbtmGLbJA