(First off, let me say that I'm so sorry I forgot to post yesterday. I try to post every Tuesday, but I just didn't get around to it. Classes, work, and sickness consumed my mind. Here's what I was supposed to post.)
People frequently ask if I base my characters on real people, events, or places. The answer is no. (Even though I have a cool t-shirt that says, "Watch Out Or You Might End Up In My Next Novel.") However, that doesn't mean I don't draw from my personal experiences. For example, in Screwing Up Time, Mark lives in North Haven, Connecticut, which is a real place. For seven years, I lived in the neighboring town of Hamden. I draw from my experiences there when I put in details about the weather, the names of streets, etc. So if you went to North Haven, you could find Ridge Road where Mark used to run to keep in shape. But the characters aren't people I know. Though Mark's personality is an amalgam of two young men I know--but they won't sue. :) I've never based a character's personality on a living person, mostly because the characters I write about are fully formed once they come to me. And, in fact, even with Mark, it was more like I recognized who he was rather than who I planned he would be.
And I like to include real objects like my poison ring and the very cool yellow Solstice that I see driving the streets of Chattanooga. One of my sons is getting a birthday present (sorry he's birthday's tomorrow and I can't spoil his fun and tell you what it is) that I'd love to include in a book, but it probably won't be this sequel.
And this morning I found a beautiful creature that I'm going to include. Sadly, she'll have only a small role. But now you'll have something to look forward to. Here's a picture of her.
She lives right outside our front door. And though you can't see it in the photo, she has a snack wound in silk underneath her belly.