Are your characters based on your clients?

If you’ve read my bio you know that Psychology is my first professional love and Writing my second. So when I speak to groups, I often get the question “Are your characters based on your clients?” What’s funny (to me at least, maybe not to you) is that the answer is a resounding No. They also aren’t based on people I know (another really common question). They truly are unique creations. Now, I do draw from aspects of people I know to help shape the characters. For example, John Paul’s active personality is loosely based on my oldest son’s high activity level. When I was writing The Light, my younger son was the opposite of his brother, and I thought of him when I was shaping Quinn’s character. He has since grown out of his quiet stage, but that memory of him not acting like a Tasmanian devil will live on in Quinn!

There is one exception to all of this.

In Through The Ashes, I introduce you to a character that doesn’t speak. She is known only as The Girl and she is loosely based on a young girl I once worked with. This girl was not my client, but she taught me a great deal about selective mutism. If I were to do a psychological assessment on my character, she would meet criteria for Selective Mutism and a few other diagnoses. I tend to think about things like that when I write. I believe it helps me create those rich backstories that so many of you have commented on in your Amazon reviews – thanks for those by the way! I only worked with this girl for a few months, and I wasn’t her treating psychologist. There was a great deal I didn’t know about her, and almost all of what I did know I’ve since forgotten. But I remember her eyes. They would become wide and scared if ever I asked her even the most benign of questions and she never answered me. Perhaps this is the reason I still remember her and why she crept into my books. Now that The Girl is in the series, I want to tell you more about her. The problem is she isn’t ready to tell us. To get around this I wrote a short story about her life before she became silent. I will be publishing it in a few weeks, and it will be available as a free download. I will let you all know when it’s available. In the meantime, if you haven’t read Through The Ashes now would be a great time to do so and meet The Girl. I hope you are as intrigued by her as I am. Tap here to start reading.

I also wanted to announce that The Light is currently participating in a promo. You can enter to a win a kindle, a copy of The Light, and about 30 other books. You can click here to enter. 

Have a great rest of August!

Jacqueline

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