Are you Jacqueline? Am I……? Is she….?
After reading Cross Your Fingers, my friends and family asked these questions. In fact, I have heard from other authors that these are commonly asked questions.
First, from a personal perspective, let me answer the question, as it is asked, and try to answer the unasked questions that I presume are being thought.
Yes, I am Jacqueline; and, no, I am not Jacqueline.
In all honesty, when you decide to write and publish a work of any kind, I think the creator has the end goal, in mind. By that, I mean, this series is my attempt to create something that I felt was missing from the world. I am creating a fictional world, but there are bits of me, bits of you, and bits of strangers in all of the characters.
For those of you who know me, Jacqueline has many of my attributes, including a love for the Tampa Bay Rays, her choice in vehicles, her race, sex, ethnicity, and, obviously, her sexual orientation. In that way, it is easy to assume that I have drafted her as myself. But, I promise, I have not; she is not an author surrogate.
For those who know my wife, they assume that she is Mallory. There is no denying a striking physical resemblance between my wife and the character. Mallory’s mannerisms and gestures are my experience of my wife, but she is not Mallory. Mallory’s past, her family structure, her career choice, and her demeanor are not in keeping with my wife or her story.
More importantly, the story of Jacqueline and Mallory is not our story. It is the story of an interracial homosexual couple, but not this one.
Often, friends try to guess if they are one character and assign another character as another friend. While Alex’s speech patterns may be similar to one friend, her romantic entanglements may not coincide. Elet may draw recollections of a boy I knew in high school, but I would imagine that every Floridian knows a tall, lanky, blond-haired, blue-eyed tan guy.
Writing is deeply personal. Because of that, I would say that all of the characters are a part of me. They are the friend I wish I was and the wildness that still lives inside of me. They are the parts I hide, the parts you think you know about me, the parts I once was, and the parts I work to become.
But, this series is not my autobiography. It is not your biography. My goal is to create ordinary and extraordinary characters who remind each of you of someone you know, want to be, can’t stand, or want to hang out with. If I have done that, then they have come to life for you as each of them has come to life to me.