Redwoods: Writer’s Confession

LC_TheRoaringRedwoods_Rush-2(SPOILERS ahead if you are not through Episode 7 yet.)

I read an article about JK Rowling and perspective she has over her Harry Potter series.

“I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment,” she told The Sunday Times. “That’s how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron. I know, I’m sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility.”

I don’t know if I can say I have executed a story point for personal reasons and NOT credibility. BUT I certainly have made personal decisions in my writing. Plot points, character names, traits, jobs, homes, wardrobe have all been selected for the occasional personal reason.

Here are just a few examples:

Decker (Helen’s last name) is the name some relatives of mine chose instead of Schroeder when they emigrated from Germany. Later relatives insisted it be changed back.

William gets arrested in Stockton- my hometown.

Shaw and Mei Xing fall in love because I wanted to explore a multi cultural relationship and vent a bit over some of the prejudice I experienced when I was in such a relationship.

The complicated relationship between Wilson (Hank) and Helen comes from a family story several generations ago.  There was no reconciliation in my family.

My pen name is based on pushing myself to pursue something that I have wanted, but wasn’t always sure about. But I didn’t want to live in regret at not trying either.

And the redwood trees. Of course– I love those trees!

I’ve done the opposite thing too. I refused to start With a Lemon Twist at a certain point of the story for very personal reasons. I finally relented and tried it the way I DID NOT WANT TO and — of course— it was the right spot (releasing Spring 2015).

I think it’s pretty common to plan some details and even plot points reflecting a writer’s personal life. I like what Auntie Annie says, “If people didn’t want you to write about them, they should have behaved better.”

And some of it is for a writer’s “what if” to be resolved. And I think it’s a form of therapy for those drawn to words. It’s bound to happen and — in my opinion and because I do it myself– I think perfectly natural and appropriate.

BUT, Hermione should have ended up with Harry.


Random drawing May 1 for all those who sign up for the newsletter (orange box to your right). You could win this ’20s inspired necklace and some other great stuff: