Mattie
Mattie asked Michael J. Sullivan:

Hi, Michael. I was wondering, are any of your characters inspired by or based off of real people you know? Or even other fictional characters? I'm curious. I hope no one has asked this yet!

Michael J. Sullivan Hey Mattie,
I have used people I know as inspiration for various characters. It makes them seem more "real" to me. Usually it's not just one person but a combination of several. Warren, a character from my Hollow World novel is a combination of my wife's brother, my sister's husband, and my own brother. Some of the things he says or does are often a recounting of conversations I've had with one of these people. Interestingly, none of these people will ever know this. My wife's brother is dead and neither my brother or my brother-in-law read any of my books.

I've also mentioned that in Riyria many of the women share some traits of my wife. Arista was bestowed with a lot of my wife's traits, which is ironic because my daughter (who the books were originally written for) really didn't like Arista. By the end of the series, though, she came around and ended up gaining an appreciation for Arista and the arc of her character.

People often ask if I share any traits with Royce and Hadrian...and to that I have to depend on my wife who claims I do. I always wanted to be "a hero" and part of something big and important so in that respect I have some of Hadrian's traits. As for Royce...well I'm very protective of the ones I love. I'm not violent in any way (we are both small and agile but where as Royce would strike out I would just dodge), but my tongue can be very sharp at times. I have huge issues with "authority figures" and this often makes me say things that most people would not find "polite." I have little patience with anything bureaucratic. There was a time when my son was struggling in school and the administrators determined he was ADHD and wanted to put him on Ritalin as it would improve his concentration and grades. I'm drug adverse in general (never know what kind of side affects will be discovered down the road), but more importantly my reaction was that James would just have to work harder than most...and I was fine with that. My comment was, "I'm sure he would do better by sleeping less and therefore having more time to study, but you don't see me advocating he take cocaine either." After that they dealt with my wife for anything "school related."

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more