Monday, November 21, 2011

Hey, I Know that Person! 

In my novel that I’m working diligently on to indie publish in the coming year entitled, St. Anne’s Day, one of the main characters featured is Peg McMaster. Peg is an elderly woman, who, to put it mildly, is a crackerjack. All writers draw from their personal experience, and I’ve realized that Peg is an amalgam of my maternal and paternal grandmothers—Gertrude and Agnes.

While my grandmothers got along well and enjoyed each other’s company, they were very different in so many ways. Grandma Gert smoked, swore (nothing obscene but vulgar), loved to read and watch movies. She was very lax with regards to rules and regulations. Although Catholic, she rarely went to Mass, but she donated lots of money to various Catholic charities from the Indian Missions--who sent her lovely tokens of appreciation like a thermometer that was imbedded into the white plastic skeleton of a fish--to the Shrine of Sainte Anne de Beaupre.

Grandma Aggie on the other hand never swore, never smoked and used to smash the empty beer bottles from the beer her sons had drunk with a hammer so the garbage man wouldn’t know they had liquor in the house. We once caught her in her bare feet, and you would have thought we had found her streaking she was so embarrassed. She attended daily Mass and ate fish every Friday even when you didn’t have to anymore.

Somehow when I was creating Peg’s character, I managed to meld their personalities into one wise-cracking, devoutly religious old woman named Peg, who sometimes steals the show from the main characters, Anne Lyons and Gerry McMaster.

 Do I Know You?

If you are a writer, has there been a family member or friend who has influenced the development of one or more of your characters?

If you are a reader, has there ever been a character in a book that closely resembled someone you actually knew?

And if you tell me Edward from Twilight or Hannibal Lecter, from Silence of the Lambs, I’m going to freak!


  1. I enjoyed your posts - I like your sense of humour. I graduated from a Catholic high school (all girls) taught by nuns, and you're right (I read the last few blogs). Rock on Sister!

  2. Thanks for reading! I went to an all girls Catholic high school too, which gives you a different perspective on life.

  3. Hi other writing Lane! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Returning your visit(:
    Interesting discussion you've opened here. Thinking about what you've said, only two of the characters (and they're secondary) in my debut novel vaguely resemble anyone I know. Certainly the main characters are pure fantasy. Again, the characters in the novel I'm writing now are fictitious. But I do pull on my experiences in creating the environment my characters inhabit.
    P.S. I was raised Catholic(:

  4. Hi JP:

    Thanks for dropping by. I think all writers draw on past experience to some extent.