Are your books autobiographical?
I definitely write fiction. These are made up characters, made up stories. But I think things in my life stir emotions, help me connect to characters. So there are bits and pieces of me in my novels. How could there not be?
For example in Ruby’s Slippers, my heroine has followed in her mother’s footsteps by running the family farm but it’s not her dream. Trouble is, she doesn’t know what her dream is because she’s so suppressed it. It’s the beginning of her journey when the farm is destroyed, a journey of self-discovery. I never ran a farm, but I did follow after my mother by teaching. Way back in high school and early college years, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I had taught dance during high school which helped pay for my dance classes; I’d also helped in Vacation Bible School. But I didn’t really enjoy it. But my mother said, “You’re a good teacher. You should teach.” For one semester I tried business but it was boring. Was I just going to have a desk job the rest of my life? So I went the education route. But I didn’t love teaching. I loved the creative part of it, the coming up with games and activities to enrich a lesson. I loved Children’s Literature. So then I ended up teaching for five years until I had figured out I wanted to write. So I could relate to Dottie on this journey of hers down the yellow brick road into self-discovery. And I try to find a core element to be able to relate to a character, even if that character isn’t the main one.
In Lookin’ Back, Texas, the mother of my main character, Betty Lynne is something else. She’s a perfectionist on steroids. Now I’ve had a few perfectionist tendencies in my life. I’ve also known a lot of perfectionists. And so I could empathize with her and the situation she gets herself into in the story.
So back to the original question, are my stories autobiographical, the short answer is no. But there are elements from my own struggles in the pages of my books.