This blog was featured on 07/30/2018
Is Your Character Your Alter Ego?
Contributor

Is your book autobiographical?

Which part of it?

Which of the characters precisely?

Did it ever happen to you?

How much of you are there in your novels?”

These are some of the questions your readers, known and unknown will ask and would want to hear honest answers with every right to do so, because, I suppose every reader, myself included wants to scrap behind the reality of the fictional story and know how much of it is fiction, versus reality. As readers we are curious to know what the process of the character creation looks like and how you as an author do it. What made you write that particular heroine and what where you thinking while writing her up?  Why is her hair always messy, why is she always wearing that particular type of shoes, what is it that drives her and what was driving you, when you were writing?

I too am always seeking to find out about the behind the scenes of the books I’ve read. It’s a prolongation of the story that stays with you, and it’s almost as interesting, as joyful, as rewarding as the actual process of the book reading itself. Opening that secret door to the author’s world is fascinating.   

When I was writing Friday Evening, Eight O’Clock I wasn’t thinking of how much of its characters would resemble me,or be born from my own autobiographical stories, how much of myself would  be there in either Liz, or Tasha, two of the central female voices in the book.  I don’t think Tasha with all of her quirks, her straight forwardness, and her talent to end up in unbelievable situations, her clumsiness, her escapades and her joie de vivre resembles me. What we share however, is our love for coffee, Paris and dogs, but our resemblances end at that point.  

Liz Foster, a deputy editor of the magazine Tasha starts working at in Paris, is her complete opposite and if I can think of several things we share in common with Tasha, nothing comes to my mind when I think of what I could have given Liz, from my own experiences, except that she’s deciding to change her job and to work at the television station.  Neither Tasha, nor Liz are my alter egos. They are different, their lifestyle, the way they handle consequences to their actions, their thoughts, their fears, their memories, their challenges, their rivalries are different from my own, but no different from contemporary women per se.

“You’re so very Tasha right now,” my friend told me not so long ago as we were arguing over something, and it made me smile. She referred to a fictional character as to a real one, to someone who’d act in a certain way.  For me it sounded as a compliment. Mission accomplished. It meant that the characters started living on their own, that they were  made  of flesh and blood, with a tiniest help from the author.      

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