What a fabulous question! And the answer is that I've been so incredibly blessed with my inner circle of friends and family, because, as you pointed out, I do base a great many of my characters on people I know, and I often take, shall we say, "liberties" with how they're portrayed. To a person everyone has been so supportive and such a great sport. I believe I take the most liberties with my sister, whom Cat is based on, and both my sister and Cat are these incredibly loving, devoted sisters, but Cat is, at times, flat out cray-cray, and totally self-absorbed, and yet my sister is the MOST levelheaded, thoughtful, generous person I know, and still, my amazing sister allows me to pull from a select few of her most embarrassing moments and spin them into something crazy that Cat does and my sis does that without protest or the need to ask me to edit anything I've written. It's an amazing experience as a writer to be able to freely take such liberties while being wholeheartedly supported in the process. I couldn't ask for a better inner circle to draw from, and I don't know that everyone who writes and pulls from people in their own lives could say that.