The Adventure of Writing a Book, Part 12

Characters: As I have said many times before, I write “fact-based fiction”. That means my novels are based on facts, real places, and real people.

I do a lot of research. I read books, search the internet, take photos and actually visit the places where my stories take place. On September, my husband Gene and I drove from Princeton NJ to Hartford CT to Scranton PA to Bozeman MT because that is the route that my next thriller takes. It is a cross-country chase story.

When I wrote FIND EDSELL, my first book, the characters were patterned after folks I knew or got to know in the process. A good friend of mine was married to a former Army Commando. Joshua, the male protagonist in FIND EDSELL, is a version of Don. He is a former Commando; he knows weapons and hand-to-hand combat. He is also a bow hunter and an all-around tough guy with a heart of gold.

The teens in that book (Edsell, Borderline, Mark and Stacy) reflect the many teens I knew when I was a Girl Scout Leader, Softball Coach, Youth Group Leader, chair of the Junior Golf Program at our club in New Jersey and later on the Board of Directors of The First Tee of Brunswick County (now The First Tee of Coastal Carolina). I raised four daughters and our house was often a hangout for their friends. We usually had an extra place setting at our dinner table for whoever was visiting or spending the night.

Now, as I work on “Losing It”, the process is the same. Laura is a conglomerate of some of the women I knew while living in New Jersey. She has led a somewhat sheltered life, but now she must flee a killer.  Because he can trace her through her phone or credit cards, she must become homeless to get away.

Luckily, I am a farmer’s daughter from rural Maryland. I know how to handle firearms (my father taught me).  I roamed the woods, camped, fished on the Chesapeake Bay and in the creek behind our farm. I know what the forest sounds like at night. As I kid, I slept on the ground under a canvas strung between two trees with just a blanket around me.  I can write about Laura’s experience in the outdoors.

Stay tuned for more installments of “The Adventure of Writing a Book”. Now that the holidays are over, I promise to write at least once a week.

The picture is 12-year old me on the farm.

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