- The ex-gigolo in Cafe au Lait? Based on a friend of my brother's.
- The psycho cousin in Give me the Night? Based on one of my real-life cousins.
- The leering, drooling African doctor in the aforementioned? Based on two Nigerian acquaintances. (Yes, I often combine several real people into one fictional character.)
- Most of the characters in what I'll facetiously refer to as The Great West Indian Novel--one of my works in progress--are modeled on relatives close and distant, dead and alive. While the situations are pure fiction, the settings and characters are rendered from the living cloth of my memories.
- A character in Sultry in Blue, my third romance novel, is based on Naughty Niece. This is proving problematic as Nefarious Nephew now wants me to write a story about him. (Lesson: Do NOT tell people when you base characters on them.)
Unfortunately, I cannot claim to use my powers wisely. I threaten people. For instance, I tell my mother that if she isn't careful she'll end up in one of my books as a dotty old harridan who potters around the yard in a nightie, wide-brimmed straw hat, bright green Crocs and wild hair. This has not scared her into dressing appropriately before wafting out the door, so I'll have to up the ante to something even more embarrassing: a dotty old harridan who potters around the yard in a nightie, wide-brimmed straw hat, bright green Crocs and wild hair--and who disembowels kittens! That'll teach her...
If I can use my writer powers to blackmail my own mother, what might I do to you? Tread carefully or I'll wave my magic quill and you'll find yourself trapped between the pages of my next book doing some really, really embarrassing (if not downright illegal) things.