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.
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!