As I’ve previously shared, the story for my first complete manuscript (Discovering Our Story) came to me in a dream. My hero and heroine and the underlying premise for the story came from the deep recesses of my mind. That said, I made a great many decisions to shape my characters and their backstories. The vast majority of these decisions were not based on any details or any persons from my life. Except…
I lived in Oregon years ago and I loved the region where the fictional town of Belford exists. The funny thing is, I’d only barely driven through this particular part of Oregon on my way to and from the coast. I’d not spent much time there by any stretch.
It was not a coincidence that this past fall I planned an anniversary trip to the Oregon coast extremely close to the setting of my book. On a particularly rainy day, my husband and I ventured out to explore the area. In so many ways, it was exactly like I’d pictured in my mind and in my book. We even found a tiny town that could very easily have been Belford. The biggest difference was that it was even greener and more beautiful than I’d described. I promptly made some edits hoping I could better capture how lush and quaint the area really is.
I’m nothing like my heroine, Karissa, except… I have brown eyes, I love flavored coffee creamer (Vanilla Caramel) and I lived the first few years of my life in Karissa’s unnamed hometown. I lived there until I was seven and moved to a small ski town where On the Line is fictionally based (but that’s another post). Needless to say, I can certainly relate to the dynamics of a small town.
I don’t know anyone like Samuel. But if I did, I know we would’ve been friends. He was hands down, my favorite character to write.
I admittedly have quite the book crush on my hero, Matthew. However, I don’t know anyone like him in real life. Except… my husband is very gifted at being able to build nearly anything and possesses an analytical mind (like Matthew). They both have that if there’s a will there’s a way attitude. In my opinion, there’s something very masculine and sexy about a man who can… build stuff!
The only other “real life” influence that I can tie back to my story or rather the dream that started it all is that on Saturday mornings, I enjoy watching the occasional Discovery Channel reality series (while drinking my coffee with flavored creamer).
So while my dream was very specific and had many precise details of the goats, the filming, and a very particular exchange between Matthew and Karissa that takes place well into the story, I can see how my penchant for these shows could have influenced my dream state on that fateful night. I’m just glad it did!