I’m going to be doing a series of post answering questions readers have asked about how I write. If you have a question you would like answered, please leave it in a comment or send it to me via the “contact author” page. I’ll do my best to get answers to you.
“I’ve been wondering, do you base some of your stories on events and people in real life?”
The short answer is “yes.”
While not all my stories are based on real events and real people, I greatly enjoy writing stories based on true events. When I wrote my first book Home Fires of the Great War, I set one family in Codell, Kansas because I wanted to write about the three tornadoes that went through on the same day three years in a row. Telling about them in the book, I used actual facts from the newspapers at the time. However, one of my test readers told me that some of things (a baby being torn from its mothers arms to be found completely unhurt in a field, or a schoolhouse full of people being lifted up and set down somewhere else with everyone uninjured, and other things) were too unrealistic and should be taken out. Those are the facts I got from the newspapers.
Sometimes when I write, I take an authors privilege of fictionalizing a story, like I did with A Horse Called Danger. The facts about the horse are real, but the characters were changed and the circumstances. So, sometimes I will create everything in my own mind, and other times I’ll use real events.
When it comes to people, they are mostly fiction. Some have the character traits of people I know (or of myself like one of the characters in Gift from the Storm), but most are a mixture, or just made up.