Swoon Author Jennifer Honeybourn: Not as Strange as Fiction
Someone asked me recently if Wesley James Ruined My Life is at all based in reality—like, do I write from my real life or do I base characters on people I know.
While no one I know appears in the pages of this book—the characters are all a product of my imagination—I do sometimes use my feelings about things that have happened to me in the past to guide certain scenes. Example: In Wesley James Ruined My Life, Quinn is struggling with her feelings about her grandmother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and her subsequent move to a care home. While my grandmother did not have Alzheimer’s or live in a care home, she was British and a very snappy dresser, and I had a close relationship with her. So when it came to writing the scenes that included Quinn’s grandmother, I gave some of the feelings of loss that came up for me after my nana passed away in 2010 to Quinn.
I drew a little bit from my experience working at a restaurant when I was sixteen (sadly it was not a medieval themed restaurant, just a regular steak and potatoes type of place). I vividly remember how the smell of food clung to my uniform and in my hair and how all I wanted after my shift ended was to get home so I could take a shower. I *may* have applied some of the feelings I had about working in customer service to the story.
And aside from Quinn’s love of London and hatred of spiders, that’s about where the similarities between her life and mine end. So if you know me in real life and you’re worried about appearing in my next novel, you can breathe a sigh of relief—odds are good that you will not be featured in one of my books. At least, not in any way you’d recognize. :)