Q&A with Stacy Juba discussion

Writing What You Know > How similar are authors to their protagonists

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message 1: by Stacy (new)

Stacy Juba | 20 comments Mod
A lot of readers ask whether Kris Langley, my main character in Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, is based on me. We do have a few things in common - like Kris, I started my journalism career as an obit writer and editorial assistant for a daily newspaper. We both used that job as a launching board to write articles and get into reporting. We both care about getting the story right and fairly showing all the sides of an issue. But, if Kris was exactly like me, then the book would be a little boring. I'm not about to put myself into jeopardy and go nosing around into a 25-year-old murder - no thanks! Kris does take on this case, however, and she needs motivation for doing so. I decided that she felt responsible for a childhood prank which led to her cousin’s murder and has punished herself for years. When she stumbles across the unsolved murder of Diana Ferguson, Kris obsesses over cracking the case and bringing justice to the victim’s family. She feels that if she helps this other family, perhaps she can redeem herself from her past mistakes.

I know many of you are writers yourselves, so feel free to share your own experience. How much of yourself do you put into your main characters?

message 2: by Darcia (new)

Darcia Helle (darciahelle) This topic made me chuckle. My current novel-in-progress is about a hairstylist who is burned out and having murderous fantasies about her clients. I was a stylist for 15 years and was definitely on the edge by the time I left the job. I never actually considered murdering people but I can relate to that feeling. This is definitely the closest I've gotten to basing a character on my own experiences.

I think it's liberating to extend a character beyond what we ourselves would do!

message 3: by Stacy (new)

Stacy Juba | 20 comments Mod
That sounds like a fun book, Darcia. I wish I had talent with styling hair! I just got my hair cut yesterday when I couldn't stand it anymore...

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