I get asked all the time--as most authors do--if my characters are real. I have never--nor would I ever--drop-kick a person from real life straight into my books. Never, never, never. I'm not trying to shake a finger at authors who do. It's just that for me, it would feel like a horrible invasion of privacy.
That's not to say a few things from real life haven't (kinda) crept in. My first YA, A BLUE SO DARK, took place in "Springfield," which is the town I grew up in...But then again, it's not Springfield, either. A few real-life landmarks from the town show up, but they're all mixed up, on wrong sections of town, and other landmarks, including the high school, are completely fictional. Another of my YAs--FERAL--takes place in Peculiar, MO. Yes, I swear, that's really the name of the town! And no, nothing--absolutely NOTHING about the town is real. I made every last bit of it up.
I've also never written about my own personal situations. My YA PLAYING HURT involves a couple of athletes, and my own family likes to joke that I'm so clumsy I can fall around corners. ;)
For me, then, anything that MIGHT have a sliver of truth in it always gets upstaged by fictional details.
I read recently that poetry reading is growing in the US. Maybe this is why--maybe it's because, right now especially, we need a little laid-bare and open-hearted. We're starving for a little honesty.
Anyway, one of my favorite parts about TANGLES is the way it ages. The opening poems are about a young woman opening her heart for the first time, and as the collection progresses, the woman gets older, more mature.
In honor of both the older voice (and the fall season all around us), here's one of the poems included toward the back of the collection:
if summer romances
hover in the
in the autumn of
Maybe they are
twice as hot
as the first time
and maybe all the
singe the very
You can snag a copy of TANGLES at all the major outlets (Amazon's got the paperback on sale right now). You can also grab a signed copy at my Etsy store.