I did a reading at a private party in Prescott last night. One of the guests (Sheila) asked how my personal life was related to what I have assigned to Aaron McCaan’s personality and adventures in my novels. I fumbled through a few answers, not having thought about it much in advance. Here’s a little more detail I’ve cooked up this morning.
AUTHORS AND REALISM
An old saw for fiction authors is they write about what they know and then embellish the facts and actions in pursuit of a good story line. In no particular order of intensity, here are some personal groundings for writing about Aaron McCaan, the protagonist in my mystery series. All of it appears in one form or another in the books.
Been awestruck on many occasions by the natural beauty and changing scenery in deserts.
Held a loved one in my arms while she died.
Held pets through their passings from life to death.
Been scared by unidentified things stalking me in the dark.
Had close encounters with dangerous predators (two mountain lions, one bear).
Been bitten by spiders and stung by a scorpion.
Had a stare down with a rattlesnake.
Been badly sunburned.
Owned an original 1964 Ford Mustang, my first new car.
Pushed being thirsty to the limits (4 four days) in a hot climate.
Had a truly bad hangover.
Had a concussion and broken bones.
Served in the United States Marine Corps.
Used a map and compass to negotiate remote territory.
Been lost hiking in what I thought was familiar territory.
Been chased by bad guys.
Been shot at.
Camped out with minimal gear in the desert when it snowed.
Worked as a reporter at newspapers.
Have college degrees in anthropology and history.
Carefully explored the lower Colorado River territory.
Lived a cross-cultural life.