The Questions of Crossing Lines – Minor Characters and Real Life Connections
One thing I am aware I did not do well in Crossing Lines was have well-developed, involved, minor characters. My minor characters served their purposes and made appearances when need be, but I didn’t develop relationships for them as I probably should have. That being said, I still get many questions and comments about them. I wonder if all authors face this line of questioning? Does everyone always question if books represent our real lives? Just because my book isn’t set in Westeros doesn’t mean that it takes after real life events. However, I digress. Back to the topic at hand.
I can honestly say there is only one character that bears any resemblance to a person in my life. I’m almost positive it is not going to be a character anyone was expecting, but that character is actually Grant Olsen. I modeled him after a teacher I did indeed have my own freshman year of high school who I too, like Carter does to Mr. Olsen, admire and look up to – to this day. Though I don’t add much physical description to Grant in the novel, I didn’t model him after the looks of my own teacher. In just saying that Grant was a teacher who had a calming air about him, was looking out for all his students’ and friends’ best interests, and was simply a genuinely good person, he embodied the teacher I know in my own life. Other than that extremely small piece, I can honestly say no characters in Crossing Lines, major or minor, resemble anyone in my own life. I often get questions of which of my friends I chose to model Samantha and Nate after. None of them. I don’t have friends like either Sam or Nate, but I sort of wish I do. I have a soft spot for the two of them; Nate especially.
When people come asking about connections, I generally give one answer to them. I admit that no characters take after real life people, but if they really are looking for some connection to my own life, they should look into the landscape. Most notably, the lake that is Noah Sweeney’s favorite place to go that appears a few times throughout the novel. That is based on my own fascination with Massabesic Lake in Auburn, New Hampshire. The description Noah gives of his lake to Carter right at the beginning is how I’ve always felt about Massabesic on my countless drives by it. The different ways the water appears, the sailboats in summer, and of course the breathtaking sunsets. If you do happen to live in the southern New Hampshire area, I urge you to make your way to a lake sunset here. It truly is something special, as you can see in my photo I’ve taken at the lake that I use for this blog post and also the background for my entire website. There are other elements in the setting that I’ve taken from my own life. Carter’s mountain was indeed a mountain of my own here at home when I was a child. The student lot, though not described much, was pictured as my own high school’s senior parking lot while I wrote the couple scenes that included it. Little things that don’t actually matter, that no one would ever really pick up on. That’s how my own life comes into my stories. It’s not for others to blatantly see; it’s just small pieces of me that I know are still there.