Raeann Blake (Author)

Ramblings from Raeann

Are authors in their own books?

Posted by Raeann Blake (Author) on July 21, 2012

I often wonder if other authors ever see bits of themselves in some of their characters. I never intend for them to turn out that way, but I always find some of my own tendencies, flaws, habits, and even some personality traits popping up in mine from time to time. My addiction to coffee comes to mind. More than one book has a character that shares that addiction. I smoke (yes, I know) and so do many of my characters. The people they admire are people that I admire. The music they like is music that I enjoy. The heroine in the first book of The Seven Brothers of Elko series has a fascination for the Texas Rangers as do I. (No, not the baseball team…THE Texas Rangers.) On the other hand I seem to also be inclined to give some of them traits that I don’t possess but sometimes wish I did.

So that brings up the question about whether or not this is a shortcut style of character development. Maybe, but I think it’s more a case of me temporarily living through the characters and they become a blend of the two of us. It is possible that they feel more alive to me because we share something in the way we think, feel, or act. Giving them life has also added to mine. Looking back I can see that I have also picked up specific traits that some of those characters have that I did not have before. They sometimes have particular strengths that perhaps I didn’t have but learned from them. No matter what anyone says, writing is therapeutic.

It can also be detrimental when you allow yourself to get too close to your characters, too ingrained into their lives. Authors often spend most of their time alone or only in the company of their characters. It takes practice and a dogged determination to find a balance between the people who live in your head and those in your life who don’t. I personally haven’t always done such a great job of finding that balance. As I end my two-week hiatus from writing, rewriting, editing, and publishing I hope that I do a better job of that going forward.

Having now recognized that I put pieces of myself into my characters, will I continue to do that? You betcha!

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