I talked with a friend the other day about my book Hope for Joy. She asked how much of it reflected personal experiences I had. This is something that every writer faces: how much of their own experience do they draw on for their writing?
I will start by saying this: many of the experiences I have had or those I have heard of firsthand have made it, in disguised form, into my writing. For me, I couldn't write if I didn't have a frame of personal reference for my fiction. Other writers may feel differently, but the idea of "write what you know" has always helped me get started.
My experience as a teaching assistant gave me a good story for the opening of my book. I will say that the specific experience in the Hope for Joy opener did not happen to me, but I did experience a similar incident where a student was reading a magazine in my classroom and it fell to the floor. In my experience, the magazine's cover had a celebrity that looked *just like* my student. I made a few comments, held the magazine up for all to see, and I never *saw* a magazine open in class again. (Of course I am well aware that they may have found a better way to conceal them).
There's more to share, but I'll save it for another post. See you next time!