Writing a story is a lot of fun because you get to throw in your own personal little tidbits. You spend so much time in the story you are crafting that it is bound to happen. As an example, my character, Dez, and I have a lot in common and that is certainly not by accident. Here are a few items from real life that found their way into the story line.
I visited Oklahoma City and was never the same. I was overwhelmingly inspired and thus it became the rightful setting for A Light in the Dark.
The main male character is named after Dallas Cowboy Dez Bryant. My husband is a diehard Cowboy fan so I hear Dez’s name all the time AND he’s not bad to look at it.
Olivia loves her sushi just as I do.
The two dogs referenced in the book are named after two dogs in my family. Rest in peace, Sophie and Murphy.
Dez’s buddies have a morning radio show featured in the novel. That is likely because my husband has been a weekly guest on a local morning radio show, The Todd N Tyler Radio Empire, for eighteen years.
Sabrina is originally from Iowa because that is my home state.
In the novel, Dez reflects on a trip to Chicago he took with Sabrina and Olivia – a good experience and memory for my family, too.
Dez’s brother Damien was murdered in the streets at a young age. Family friend Barry Averritt suffered a similar fate four years ago.
Dez is a single father of one when he meets Sabrina, kinda like my husband when he met me.
Dez owns a gym and teaches classes and that aligns perfectly with my love for fitness.
Dez’s best friend, Alex, is a former MMA fighter. I went to an MMA fight once with my husband as he knew one of the fighters. I saw a dude’s shoulder pop out of socket. It was oddly mesmerizing.
A trait of mine that rubbed off on Dez – he can’t hold his alcohol so well.
Sabrina’s closet is a hot mess as is yours truly’s.
A Light in the Dark is a fair representation of my life in terms of culture and overall experiences. I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by diversity, encouragement and talent, all of which influenced the backdrop for this, my first novel.