Since I am a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, I must first consider this from two angles. A good non-fiction writer will try not to put her own considerations and biases into a news story or feature article. Obviously, she must want the news to be the truth. A travel article, often written in the first person, will be different, and an author can give her opinion, which is expected.
However, as an author, I am most concerned now with fiction-writing. As I work on a novel, I know a great deal comes from my own personal experiences, embellished by my imagination when I think, "what if?" In my novel, Night Watch, much of what happens in the story actually happened to me when we arrived late at night in the airport in Trinidad. Our journey became an adventure when I thought we might actually be in danger as we were transported by strangers to an offshore island. Much of the story I tell through the eyes of my heroine occurred as we traveled in remote areas of the island nation where in many places I did not even speak their language.
When I write fiction, I use settings where I have been. Some are fictitious locations such as Jefferson City or Jefferson Point in Virginia where I set my novels, Daddy's Christmas Angel and Evening of the Dragonfly. Others, like Hearts Across Forever, are set in places we have visited, often many times.
|"Rose Hall Great House" pastel painting ©Mary Montague Sikes|
I suppose the novel, Jungle Beat, an Indiana Jones-type adventure, has less of me in it than some of my other books. Even so, my visits to Mayan ruins in Central America, had great influence on the story.
How much of me is in my writing? I guess I have to say, " a lot".
What about you? Do you feel sometimes you are writing about yourself?