People who have read my books often assume the whole story-line is based on my life. Honestly, my life does not have enough drama or excitement to base an entire novel on it and actually be captivating enough to hold the writer’s attention! However, for those of you who know me and have read the Her Long Goodbye series, you may have guessed it, Dan was not a completely fictitious character. Without my English love, although one-sided, I would never experienced moments which inspired me to write Dan’s character, for my heart would not have shattered the way it did in 2008 when I said goodbye to my Dan. Just like Mia, I said goodbye to Dan at a tube station following debating whether or not I should go see him one last time. I too cried uncontrollably on the tube as it pulled away from the station, a stranger asking me if I was okay.
But that is where my real life moments in Her Long Goodbye end. The rest of Dan and Mia’s story is completely fictional. Some of what I wrote after my goodbye was me losing myself in wishful thoughts of what I wondered might happen if I went back to London and saw my Dan. Moments that remained forever fictional.
It is moments experienced, moments when your heart smashes to an uncountable number of pieces, that create a rawness in the writer that helps them to move readers to laughter and tears. We don’t have to experience everything we write about. But we do need to know how it feels to feel completely heartbroken and completely overwhelmed with joy. For writing purposes, whenever I need to get to a place of feeling in love and emotional, I go back to that night at the bus stop in Fulham. My emotions from that moment forever trapped in time.
P.S: My English love’s name was not Dan.