Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How Writing Ruined My Wife—Don’t You Recognize Me? I’m a Model

by Kirk Melson

I know, in real life I’m an engineer. At least that's what I always thought.

But I’ve discovered something truly scary about living with a writer. Most of what they draw on to write about is from personal experience.  I don’t want to frighten anyone, but in case you haven’t figured it out, that means you and me.

This goes beyond what I shared when I talked about my lifein print. I’m talking about characters—in books and short stories—that strangely resemble people I know…like me.

It began with a familiar trait here and there. And grew with more vaguely recognizable physical descriptions. I began to see friends and relatives sneak into the stories with quirky bits of their personality tagging along.

As I helped Edie proof her different manuscripts I found that I recognized the woman who played with her hair. And I also remembered the one who can raise one eyebrow when she’s giving someone the look. Then there was the man with the loud laugh, and the distinctive way so-and-so’s cousin sneezed.

And I have to tell you, nothing’s sacred. I’ve even seen a pet that suspiciously resembles my dog. I don’t know where this will end.  Maybe I should expect to see my TV or perhaps even my car?

Beyond all this, I’ve come to strongly suspect that writers share information. I’ve overheard enough conversations between them to know they talk about characters and their distinctive character traits. And if one of them needs to round out a character, they openly share.

If you don’t believe me, take a look at my picture. Look familiar? I'm telling you, my wife's way with words can make anyone into a hero!

So let me ask you, have you seen someone you recognize in print? Now’s the time to share your own war stories.


  1. Edie, if you're married to Indiana Jones, why is your last name Melson? Great post Kirk!

    1. Well I was trying NOT to trade on the name. I guess Kirk let the cat out of the bag!

  2. Ever heard of alter-egos, Reba? :)

  3. Hey, everybody is fair game...even husbands. Great post!

  4. Indy...I'd recognize you anywhere! And my family and friends love finding themselves in my books. :-)

  5. Wonder if everyone appreciates being represented in a book like you do, Kirk? I'd like to think my husband, kids, other family members, and my friends would love it even if they're a villain. I mean, we can't all be Indiana Jones. :)

    Another entertaining post.