Laura Haley-McNeil

2/18/18, Character Inspiration

Hello, Everyone!

We’re inching closer to spring, my favorite time of year, because I can start planting the flowers I have been planning to add to my garden since September. My husband is very patient and helps me with the digging. There’s no way I can dig holes deep enough to plant the flowers or to bury the bulbs. I’ve planted mostly perennials, which cuts back on the expense, but I still plant a few annuals. We live in an arid climate and I’m trying to be environmentally conscious and so plant flowers that are drought resistant. I’ve discovered that weeds are drought resistant. No matter the weather, they always look hardy!

I’ve written since I can remember. As a child, I wrote science fiction and fantasy, but then discovered romance and knew that I’d found my niche. People often ask me if I base my characters on people I know and the answer is probably, but it’s hard to write about real people because we are multifaceted, and it would take a very complex book to write about a real person. I have a friend who’s always asking me about my books and my characters and I know she wants me to write about her as a character in one of my books. I’m still trying to find a way to fit her into one. She a wonderful person and very beautiful, so she’d make a great heroine. If I did write about her, I’d have to change her career. I won’t mention it here, because she does read my blog and would know immediately that I’m writing about her. She has a career I know nothing about so it would take extra research on my part to include that. It’s not that I’m too lazy to do the research, but then again, maybe I am. My research consists of writing until I’m stuck and then I type my question in the search bar and scan pages until I find the information I’m seeking.

I had another friend, who was really more of a friend of the guy I was dating at the time who was stunned when my boyfriend told her I was writing a book. She was also very beautiful and very rich. Her life would have been a great basis for the 1980s primetime soap operas. And she thought so, too. The first question out of her mouth was, “Is she writing about me?”

When my boyfriend told me what she said, I was indignant. I have better things to write about, I said, but I really didn’t. Her life was something I would’ve loved to have written about. She and her boyfriend, now husband, traveled on private jets all over the world and cruised on yachts and always sat in the best seats at the Super Bowl and World Series and the Olympics. She met dignitaries and billionaires and could call them her friends. Yes, I would’ve loved to have written about her lifestyle, but instead I write about what I know. I’ve never experienced the jet setting lifestyle. I was raised around horses and spent summers on the ranch where my father grew up and got to know the people who worked that ranch. That to me was just as exciting. And like any young girl, I was crazy about horses. So rather than write about people I know, and I know people who are very wonderful, I write about people I’d like to know, and I write the stories that I’d love to live. That’s the best part about living in a fantasy world and writing. You get to write about your fantasies. There are no boundaries. My favorite way to live.  

I hope your weekend is wonderful. If you live in a colder part of the world as I do, remember, spring is on its way and when summer arrives, you’ll have time to enjoy that vacation you’ve been dreaming about, and fantasying about, all winter. Have a wonderful week!