j_joshi – 2008-06-03 6:39 PM
shayd – 2008-06-03 5:28 PM My first novel was VERY loosely inspired by real people and actual events. Of course by the time the write in me got through with it dozens of people had been rolled up into a handful of character, some people had been reduce to fractions of their “native” personalities and circumstances and events came more from my imagination than from personal history. Well, an aquaintence of mine asked to read it. I heard nothing from her for a month, then one day she walks into my office, thorws the book at me (literally), slaps me across the face and accuses me of airing her dirty laundry where anyone can see it. We didn’t talk for months after that. Ironically, I don’t even know which character she identified with as she didn’t serve as the inspiration for anything in the book and she never told me what had set her off. I guess something I cooked up just hit a nerve and she ASSUMED it was based on her because we knew each other.
Eek! Did you tell her afterwards that you hadn’t based the story on her?
I tried to but she didn’t buy it. She wouldn’t even tell me which character or situation with which she identified.
On one occasion, I almost asked her flat out, “Which one are you? The talented, well educated professional woman who put both her career and her personal life on hold in order to stay in a menial job because she’s fallen in love with the boss and she’s hoping that someday he’ll notice? Perhaps you’re the woman who marries a man she doesn’t love just because she wants a family and then has an affair to concieve a child with an old flame when her husband doesn’t deliver the goods? Or maybe you’re that woman’s sister, the lesbian stable manager, who has an affair with a 16 year old bi-curious riding academy student?” None of these really seemed to fit anything I knew about her; then I remembered that she went to an all girls high school and was on the equestian team in college. I decided it was best not to ask and to just let things blow over.
I never discussed the book or its characters with her again.