People often ask me, do you use your real life in your books? There are a number of experiences that I've used. One that has served me well is almost getting killed in a car crash. Okay, that's a slight exageration. But I WOULD HAVE gotten seriously hurt if I hadn't been wearing my seat belt. It was a rainy night with water pouring down the road. Somehow the water got in our engine and froze it. So we were stuck in the right lane of US Route 29 when a car came barreling along behind us and slammed into us. I remember being thrown forward--and the seat belt pulling me back. Otherwise, I would have crashed into the windshield with my head. I also remember the sensation of it happening in "slow motion." Time really did slow down so those few seconds stretched out for a long time. I'm getting a chill writing about it now. And I often use that slow motion sensation in terror scenes.
About ten years ago, our electricity went off, and I was looking for a flashlight. I miscalculated where the hall was and ended up pitching all the way down the basement stairs head first. Also in slow motion. I really am lucky that I didn't break my neck. It's all how you land. And I landed on my shoulder. I dislocated the shoulder and broke the bone at the top of my arm. I use THAT experience when I want to write about PAIN.
So what about you? If you're a writer, how does you life creep into your books?