Before all else, note that the book I promised you--the one that is no longer about little ponies but still holds a heart of my coming-of-age experiences--is now for sale to one side of this blog and on my web page. If anyone who reads the book can identify the pony that goes with by the pony's original name (so some research will be involved), you get a free be on a copy of Weaver's Web.
So I may have mentioned a few times that I want my own bassoon. It is a long standing obsession ever since I lost access to a bassoon to play my first year in college. Unfortunately, unlike playing the flute, a bassoon is a hefty investment I have never had the room to justify. However, after selling several family heirlooms none of us wanted to be heir to, I have the money for a midgrade bassoon and the search will start!
Some of you slicker readers may have put together that Weaver, in Weaver's Web, is a concert level bassoonist. Does this mean I use my own life as grist for the mill?
Absolutely. Somewhat. I do believe that reality works best in fiction. I know about bassoons. Why would I choose an instrument for my main character that I would have to pretend to know about? Though, yes. I also do research. Some obviously requires books. In Rebirth, I had to research ancient Celts. No way of getting that first hand.
The places in urban fantasies I most often have visited, if I specify them. Houses and apartments are usually ones I've visited. In a week, I'm taking a trip to New Orleans and the Ozarks to research settings for Wood Weaver, the next book in the Weaver series.
The other question becomes, do I use me in my characters. For years I denied it. I categorically denies it. I never set out for them to do so. I dedicate hours to creating characters lives, back histories, and quirks, but in the end an aspect of me always appears. For the same reason I end up using reality in other aspects of my writing. What I know best is me. When I relate to my characters, which I must to write well, I relate to a touch of me. What would make that character my friend if we lived in real life together (okay, I probably wouldn't be friends with most of my villains, but I do understand why they do what they do)
Hello, my name is Bets, and my writing reflects me.