A lot of authors put themselves into their fiction, it’s natural, and it’s therapeutic. It’s a fantastic way to work through issues, problems, past experiences and current ones too.
I don’t do that.
In fact, I work quite hard with my editor to make damn sure that every little scrap of me is removed from my fiction. Fortunately he knows me very well, so he spots the small nuances, turns of phrase, etc, and we remove them.
Because I don’t want myself out there like that. Don’t get me wrong, I have written many thousands, probably millions of words, with bits of me in there. I wrote erotica to help work through my issues thanks to sexual abuse. I was the queen of darkness in the writing community I was in for a good while there. I’ve written heart-wrenching poetry, flash fictions, and bitterly dark novels, to work through those issues. To explore myself, to expose and move on from my past.
I have no desire for other people to see that.
I’m rather known for my walls and defences, and you know what? I’m ok with that. I’ve tried being open, and it didn’t work out so well for me. So I save myself, my core, the heart of me, for my husband and my best friend.
I don’t lie. I’m bluntly honest in fact. I’m just careful about which bits I do and don’t share. Except my fiction, that’s all beautiful, wonderful, lies. Every scrap of it is created from my imagination and scrubbed of my influence, and I’m happiest that way. It’s fun exploring new people. I know myself, I know my darkness, so it’s great exploring other people, even if they are imaginary.
To those people who do leave themselves in their fiction – fantastic, keep at it. Do what works for you, and makes you happy. I have absolutely no doubt that you’ll help other people by doing so, other people that are or have been where you were. That’s an amazing thing.