For today’s blog, let’s talk about incorporating things from the real world or from your personal life into your books. By “things” I mean events, locations, emotions, experiences; you know, the kinds of touches that can bring your novel to life. These snippets or bits and pieces from real life can help endear the story to you AND your readers.
For example, in my newest fantasy romance, UNCOVERING CAMELOT, Stonehenge, specifically the Stonehenge Memorial in Washington State, figures prominently. Also important are Merlin and other members of the Arthurian legend.
But a personal touch to this tale concerns an off-chance remark a friend had said before I’d even started to think about writing this book: she was the youngest in a family of seven daughters. Seven daughters conjured up fairy tales I’d read as a child. The hero was often the seventh son of the seventh son. I couldn’t ignore this opportunity. My heroine, Heather Woods, had to be the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter, thereby enabling her to have a magical experience.
Here’s the blurb:
A VACATION RUINED--Heather Woods suddenly learns her boyfriend, Connor, cancelled their summer plans. Determined to forget about him, she visits her flaky godmother, Nerissa, instead, for an impromptu vacation. Nerissa insists that Heather has a healing gift, something Heather doesn’t believe. But when she experiences visions... hallucinations... or whatever her jaunts back to Camelot are, she fears for her sanity. Meeting a man that might actually be Merlin the magician, and his very attractive nephew, Matthew, convince Heather that she’s in the middle of a strange, metaphysical phenomenon.
A VACATION CHANGED--Judge Matthew Limner also finds his vacation plans changed. He receives a call from a long-lost Uncle Mallory--so long-lost that he hadn’t even known Mallory existed. Mallory flies in from London, and expects to go sightseeing with Matthew. Resigned, Matthew plays the host. First stop: the Stonehenge Memorial in southern Washington. A chance encounter--or is it?--with Nerissa and Heather convince Matthew that something much more than coincidence is happening in this tiny corner of the world.
Video Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTGkLGFbC5c.
Available at Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/3m9nk5r.
For my newest book in the popular Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series, THE VIRTUAL VALENTINE, I combined my love for the murder mystery genre with my fitness background for the heroine’s occupation. Here’s a pic of me with the legendary Sherlock Holmes!
I also included an interest of mine in THE VIRTUAL VALENTINE--Lewis Carroll’s fantasy world. In my book, I created a café called the Mimsy Grove, based on Carroll’s poem, “Jabberwocky.” The café features servers dressed as characters from Alice in Wonderland. “Off with her head!” Oops!
Here’s the blurb:
KISSES CAN BE DEADLY--The serial killer stalking Los Angeles will soon be served his just deserts. But that doesn’t mean Minx Tobin is out of danger. First, there’s a crank caller. Then her tire is slashed. Quite possibly, her throat is next. But if the throat-slashing murderer is out of the picture, then who has it in for Minx?
Gabe Harris works two full-time jobs. First is solving murders as homicide lieutenant for LAPD. Second is trying to keep his new girlfriend, Minx, out of danger. But this time, she isn’t to blame for her predicament. Gabe’s job is proving hazardous to her health.
Video Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drlmBm27qIQ.
Available at Desert Breeze Publishing, www.desertbreezepublishing.com , Amazon.com, and other Internet locations.
A few quick examples that also helped motivate me to include in my books are:
GRAVE FUTURE (paranormal suspense): I did get lost in the Poconos looking for a friend’s summer home.
THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD (Regency romance): The young character of Freddy likes to insist he's the Duke of Wellington, a hero from the Napoleonic Wars. I can thank a child from my daughter's pre-school for this. Out of the blue, a boy walked over to me and with a serious face, told me he was Batman!
Alien Heat (science-fiction/futuristic romance): The secondary character of Will Flagg was inspired by a boy I knew in seventh grade, and generated this passage: "There were two things Will Flagg hated above all else. The first was to be called 'short.' The second was to be a disappointment to someone he thought highly of. Unfortunately, the latter was just about to happen."
PAST INDISCRETIONS (paranormal suspense): This novel is about Atlantis, past lives, and cloning. I created the Colby clan with three boys and a girl. One weekend, my family met a couple with three boys and a girl in the same birth order as my book. My daughter mentioned, "Mom, they all have the same face. It's scary!" I pounced on this sentence because it was a perfect fit, especially since my book deals with human cloning.
What type of personal experiences do you like to include in your writing? Or read about?
Susanne Marie Knight