Friday, March 15, 2013

Inspiration From Your Past

A couple years ago I started reconnecting with old friends, and more than a few former boyfriends, on Facebook. These things go in waves. You find one person who is friends with other people you once knew and next thing you know some guy is messaging you out of the blue and talking about how you were the first girl he ever kissed. How embarrassing when you don’t remember either him or the event.

Anyone who has read my books has surely guessed I was a tart in training in my long ago youth. Once I met my true love that path dead-ended. I’ve been mostly happily married for nearly twenty-three years. We’ve been together twenty-eight and I’ve been faithful the entire time, sometimes to my great frustration. But that’s not what I want to blog about.

When told of my writing profession, one of those old boyfriends passed on a question from his wife. Had I ever used him as a model for one of my heroes? The answer I sent back was a fast NO. I’m not sure if she was relieved or offended, but the subject dropped right there.

Lately I’ve been thinking about that. What I should have answered was, I’ve only used a boyfriend for a hero once and that book is not published because it’s really bad. It was the first manuscript I finished and it will never crawl out from under the bed. Of the other men I once dated, I’ve only used the one or two I had bad breakups with as villains. Those are the ones who should be shaking in their shoes!

So ultimately, I feel the wives of my former beaus should feel blessed when they don’t recognize their husbands in my books. As for my husband, he sees himself in every hero I write, and rightly so, as he’s my one true hero and always has been. And if one or two of my heroes have certain features, well, I do throw myself into research (Facebook) and find inspiration for my hot men in many places (the pics posted by women more dedicated to searching sites for pics than me). Of course a certain type of man will capture my interest more than others. Can’t be helped. Just hope my readers agree.

If you write, where do you find inspiration for your heroes? If you’re a dedicated reader -- just let me say I adore you -- what types of heroes attract you most? 

Morgan Q. O'Reilly
Romance for All Your Moods


Lynn Lovegreen said...

I don't write about old boyfriends, not consciously anyway. I get inspiration from various places too, including favorite actors, Dancing With the Stars, and my own imagination. :-)

Anonymous said...

I certainly don't use old boyfriends - the list is too short - but watch out you people who end up on my hit list! I take personality pieces from all of those around me and use the names of some as villains, vamps or just plain straight characters. My inspiration comes from the story line and my characters grow in and of themselves. I also draw from life events of my own and others. I recall my father-in-law visiting my husband and I for a couple weeks right after we got married. Now my husband's ex-wife's name is almost exactly the opposite of mine. Dad's greatest fear was to call me by her name (a distinct insult in some households). He was so nervous and worried he fixated on it and...yep! Out it came. He probably called me by her name half the time he was visiting. By the end of the first couple days he was a wreck and I laughed every time he tried to say any name. Pretty soon he was calling his own wife by the wrong name. So in my last book, the hero gets called by his girlfriend's last name which he then uses as his new identity at the conclusion of the story. I love how it just popped out and came together. Yep - people in my out! Miriam Matthews

Tiffinie Helmer said...

This subject is a great one! I have never consciously used an old boyfriend as inspiration, but maybe I have used those feelings of being twitterpated. I've been married 26 years and it's hard to remember those feelings of first falling in love where your world revolves around someone you just met. As for serious inspiration, I have it bad for the True Blood men. Especially Joe Manganiello. Could there be a finer man?

Anonymous said...

Cool Question-My answer is a resounding yes. The ex-husband's character traits figure prominently in the villain of one book.
Fortunately, the majority of the men in my past are pleasant and remembered fondly. Evidenced by my general inability to have enough conflict surrounding my characters.

LizbethSelvig said...

I can honestly say, I've never ever used an old boyfriend. I had maybe three before I married my true love at age 19. I barely remember the other guys, and there's nothing terribly hot about the high school boys I dated half a dozen times each. I get my inspiration from other characters, actors, situations and random people. I get their emotions and back stories from memories and thin air - lol. And, of course, my HEAs are easy to write because I live one every day. As for villains--I know very few, so I'll take inspiration for them from wherever I can (usually Maxine Mansfield).