This week’s topic is:

“What do you owe the real people on  whom you base your characters?”

A few of my books are based on real people, although some characters are a mish-mash of several people’s quirky traits and stories they have told me.  Let’s start then…

I attended Pilates exercise classes for 18 months before I wrote ‘The Pilates Class‘. The class consisted of about 15 ladies and one man, Noel.  Noel always laid his mat in the front row, as he stated quite loudly that he didn’t want to be accused of ogling any of the women.  This gave me the idea for Neville, who makes sure his mat is placed at the back of the class so that he can feast his eyes on Roz in her tight lycra.  Thanks Noel, you gave me a great character!

‘Finding David’ is the result of many visits to clairvoyants over the years, where I learned that the body may die but the spirit lives on.  Messages I received from deceased relatives have proved to me beyond doubt that there is an afterlife.  Thanks to all my aunts and uncles who came through to me from the ‘other side’ to help me write my first paranormal novella.

One of the bands that my son Marc played guitar in was fronted by a larger-than-life South African singer, Gerhardus, whom we all came to love.  He came over to the UK on a student visa and eventually married an English girl.  We never thought the marriage would last, but he proved us wrong, as they have been together for at least 15 years.  They now live in Ireland and have a little girl.  Gerhardus became ‘Gerrie’, one of the main characters in my family drama ‘A Marriage of Convenience’.  Thanks Gerhardus, you absolutely rock!

All the slights I endured from my mother-in-law over about 30 years gave me the inspiration for ‘The Daughter-in-law Syndrome’.  I can’t really thank her, but much water has gone under the bridge and she is now quite elderly.  We currently get on reasonably well after a fashion.

When we lived in South London back in 1986, we had noisy neighbours who kept us awake night after night.  Sam, resourceful as ever, constructed an electrical device that sat on the party wall and interfered with their stereo, which I described in ‘The Noise Effect’.  Thanks to my husband for the sudden and very welcome silence from next door.

My old classmates of 1974 and my sons’ teenage friends around 1999/2000 gave me quite a bit of inspiration when it came to creating the young people who journeyed to the Isle of Wight with Alistair Veale and Carly Jessop.  Thanks to them all – they’ll never know they’ve been included in ‘Revenge’!

Revenge poster

These are just a few of the people I am grateful to for inspiration.  If you’d like to read other blog hoppers’ on the same subject, please click on the blue button below:


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