Friday, May 25, 2007

My Life--in my books

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?

Rebecca York


  1. Some of us Intrigue authors have been having a conversation about critters we've had encounters with. Bats, snakes, spiders, cows (g), etc.

    I know I use my dogs (past and present) in my books whenever I can--it's fun to immortalize the pets who've been so important to me--plus, they just give the book an added dimension for me--a feel good factor as I'm writing the story, as well as a "character" I know very, very well.

    Another personal experience I've adapted into a story also has to do with animals. Snakes. Eeuw!

    I had an incident with snakes back in the years when I went to Girl Scout camp in the Ozarks--found a Copperhead coiled on a path (froze and yelled "Hoe!" like the counselors taught us to--they came and killed it by chopping its head off with a hoe--pretty graphic for a 10? 11? year old--probably has something to do with my aversion to snakes now). I used "Copperhead" as a villain's nickname in my book ACCIDENTAL BODYGUARD--it has such a bad connotation for me.

    Julie Miller
    UP AGAINST THE WALL--Intrigue, Aug. 07

  2. In my writing, almost everyone of my characters is based on some aspect of myself or on someone that I've known. I have a couple of stories in the works that are fictionalized versions of my own real life events.