When I first began writing, a male friend was convinced I’d based the hero of my romance novel on him. Like my friend, my hero was a landscape artist, and I probably had used little things I’d observed about the way my friend approached his painting. However, my hero didn’t share his passion for drawing the inquisitive cows that meandered over to inspect his paintings, and neither did he have my friend’s very wild red hair or his habit of existing all week on extremely large pans of vegetable stew.
Obviously though I do use my experience of friendship in my writing – both The Goddess Workshop and The Dare Club are about friendship groups and how the support of good friends can help you to triumph in life. Friends have helped me to get where I am today and help to keep me here – by that, I mean they have been and remain an important source of encouragement, support and life-affirming fun.
Just recently I have laughed out loud at friends’ tales of embarrassment while using ladies’ urinals at music festivals, and wrongly-pressed Facebook buttons that have led to people to jump to completely erroneous conclusions. I know friends wonder if I’ll use such things in my novels, and I might do with permission! For me, little things like this can be the starting point to me conjuring up characters or even whole novels. For example, one friend recently told me that her way of getting over a broken heart was to challenge herself to do one new thing every week – how inspiring is that? It could definitely be a starting point for a novel. Hmm, yes, I might write that one, one day!
Another friend was recently very generously open to me about her experience of breast cancer – and this helped me to form my character of Colette in The Dare Club. I’m sure she would never say that Colette was her though – Colette is very much herself; she is just experiencing similar things to my friend.
So thank you to the friends who constantly inspire me. If you ever feel an urge to become writers, then feel free to use me in your books! Well, unless I tell you things after I’ve downed a few glasses of wine that is… X