One of the earlier comments from my publisher Ambassador International about my novel Patch Town was the work read as an autobiography. The main character and I do share some common elements. We are both male, lived in Pennsylvania and spent our childhood in a coal mining community. I emphasized it is fiction. But like any writer, it is difficult to ignore one’s life experiences even when you are a fiction writer.
Then I found myself trying to think of all the people who entered my life and contributed their support and encouragement to this book. I have been writing since the 7th grade so I found that task formidable. Through my decades of life as a husband, father, friend … as an engineer, minister and writer … there are just so many people who touched my life in different ways. I am sure their influences, their words in passing and their different physical makeup, even their spiritual lives, have likely found their way into my characters, the way they live and the hurdles they have to face and overcome.
Those I have met along the road of life did not set out intentionally to pour an experience into my life so I could incorporate it into a novel decades later. Something far greater had to be there to pick and choose, refine and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite! That honor belongs to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He has been steering my ship of life since I was a young man. I believe He orchestrated my novel and its plot lines. To Him be all the glory.
It takes a lot to live with a writer who easily gets frustrated by the difficulty of the creative process, the endless hours stooped over a laptop and the restless nights while plotting story lines in my dreams. One of the first things I do early mornings is to sit at the computer and try (not always successful) to remember what I plotted through the night.
By the way, I named characters in my first book, and its future derivatives, after each of my grandkids. I warned them though. The book characters are not them, and do not have their physical appearance or personality. I just thought it was a fun thing to do. They can’t wait to read the book due sometime in September. Hope they are not disappointed. I made sure no villains were named after them!