I think as far back as my first attempt at novel writing (age 14, 1996 for those keeping track), I've always used my friends for inspiration for my characters and the situations in my books. That first book had some teen pregnancy, back stabbing, two week relationships, violence, kidnapping, secret videotaping, you know, because high school was boring that way. (Hey, at least 60 percent of that story was fiction.) Now, I've gotten a lot more subtle about writing people I know and things I've seen and heard into my stories. (Yes, I said I'm subtle. Don't let anyone tell you different.;-) )
The second book in my Savannah series is coming along well. It's a lot different than I expected it to be. Longer, for one thing. After I finished See Right Through in June, I thought the sequel would be done by August and I'd be well on my way to finishing the third story by now. Well, Derrick, one of my main characters, has a lot more to say to me than I'd anticipated. Apparently, he didn't feel my plans for a novella length story were doing him justice. Especially since he's quite slowly working his way towards the fun and sexy Lee, who featured prominently as one of Sam's friends in the first story. Let's see, See Right Through was a shade over 24,000 words. So far, the sequel is a little over 35,000 words and I think it'll reach 60-70,000 when it's done. It's been a while since I've written something that length (Hooked was 50,000 words), but I'm excited about the story I'm telling.
This story is different for me partly because I'm telling the people I've based the characters on that I'm writing about them. For some, their influence will be obvious to anyone who knows them, for others, the references are more subtle and something only they would notice. One of the people I'm using as inspiration for Lee is Cody.
Cute, right? I did create the basics of the character before I got to know Cody, but as I learn more about him, the more I realize he is quite like the way I'm developing Lee in the story. Now, he has nothing to worry about. I'm not actually planning to put his life story in my book. But he shares some great similarities with my character and I'm looking forward to drawing on that more. Plus (and here's the exciting part) if I'm lucky, Cody will agree to be on the cover for the sequel. Granted, I'm still trying to talk him into it, but I'm hoping he'll grant me the honor of agreeing once he sees the final picture.