Upon reading Sanctuary, my friend Karen said she thought that Sarah is me. She can spot sparkling similarities between myself and the main character; the way she talks, her opinions, her humour, maybe some aspects of her appearance.
I think you have to take from what you know. For me, it’s the only way to write.
Stephen King once said (taken from his autobiographical work ‘On Writing’) ‘Write what you like, then imbue it with life and make it unique by blending in your own personal knowledge of life, friendship, relationships, sex, and work’.
I totally agree with this. You make your own work unique by writing from your own experiences and yes, you might even take elements from your own character. But Sarah is not me. I never created Sarah with the view that she was some kind of fictional Linzi, but I have definately taken certain things from my life. There are little things or little similarities, for instance:
Sarah has an E.T key ring but that’s such a small detail, you might not even spot it in the book.
She doesn’t drink tea, but you don’t find that out until the second book.
She hates the snow. I definately hate the snow. But not necessarily for the same reasons, but my hatred of the snow inspired hers.
There are places from her childhood that are from my childhood. The field behind Alisha’s garden is the field that was behind my childhood friend’s garden. The lane where she meets the vampire Bourne was an actual place, although we didn’t have vampires lurking there, we had glue sniffers and flashers.
She has red hair. That doesn’t mean she is me. I just wanted to big up the gingers.
She has a habit of naming people something else. I DO do that. My neighbour is called Wavy Woman. She isn’t really. Her name is Kath. She just waves alot.
She uses her sarcastic humuor to cope with situations that are uncomfortable or downright scary, I do that all the time.
But whilst there are obvious and not so obvious similarities, we are also very different:
She can sense vampires. I can’t.
She can run fast. I can barely get off of the sofa.
She is very handy with a garden fork. Most people will tell you I have never picked up one of them in my whole life, let alone spiked a vampire upon the end of one.
Her mother thinks she is a curse. My mother just thinks I am just a constant worry to her. And that I have ‘weak ankles, just like your nan’.
Her father is a vampire. Mine isn’t. He’s called Colin and is a BT engineer. And I’m pretty sure he’s human.