Past Lives and Fiction
And because I am HERE as part of a book promotion, I thought I'd pull out some examples from The Azalea Assault where I'd had some experience that made the fiction more real:
Meetings, Meetings, Meetings!
My first job out of college I was an account coordinator for an advertising co-op—the (XXXinsert restaurant chain hereXXX) operators from the (large west coast city) area... and every last member (nice people, seriously, but...) was successful and self made and believed the universe revolved around them. I was well aware that I was the lowliest peon from the hired help, but it was MY JOB to make sure all of THEM knew how important they were to us and the world at large.
That is not unlike the Roanoke Garden Society Cam works for—this is a wealthy bunch of people who believe gardening should be the center of the world and it is Cam's job to make it so... she is pulled in multiple directions, as each person has their own view on how it should play out. And it is HER job to protect them from anything that might go wrong so they can stay in their cozy bubble.
Friends and Family
We all have them. There is one primary relationship in this book that feeds directly off a relationship I have: the relationship between Cam, my main character, and her long-time best friend Annie. Annie is a bit (okay a lot) zany—in fact some of you might recognize a lot of me (my online personality anyway) in her—she is the rule bender and rejects 'proper' expectations. And she balances Cam's more rule-abiding ways. But my REASONING isn't that I wanted to be in the book—she really wasn't intended to BE me. I wanted the friendship to feel real and familiar because it is so central to the series. And I actually took traits from both myself and my lifetime best friend and reconfigured them—Cam got all the milder, responsible ones and Annie got all the wilder, nuttier ones. (believe it or not, I have some mild, responsible traits)
Oh, it's been quite a while... I have to recall my childhood, really... but those times where you hide where you aren't supposed to... eaves dropping, or trying not to get busted for being where you shouldn't be... I really have fun recalling those sensations... sometimes letting my MC get busted and try to talk her way out of it, sometimes letting her get away with it.
So no... no juggling... not even any whitewater rafting, but I think life managed to feed me some realism... What about you? Any of your real life experiences feed into the fiction you are writing?
The Azalea Assault
Cam Harris loves her job as public relations manager for the Roanoke Garden Society. It allows her to combine her three loves, spinning the press, showing off her favorite town, and promoting her favorite activity. She's just achieved a huge coup by enlisting Garden Delights, the country's premiere gardening magazine, to feature the exquisite garden of RGS founder, Neil Patrick. She's even managed to enlist world-famous photographer Jean-Jacques Georges. Unfortunately, Jean-Jacques is a first-rate cad—insulting the RGS members and gardening, goosing every woman in the room, and drinking like a lush. It is hardly a surprise when he turns up dead. But when Cam's brother-in-law is accused and her sister begs her to solve the crime, that is when things really get prickly.
Barnes and Noble
Confessions of a Watery Tart