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FamilyI had planned on spending today’s post talking about contract terms. I recently signed a contract and thought it might be nice to go over some of the terminology that writers might find confusing. But earlier this week my parents-in-law were visiting, so I couldn’t write ahead of schedule, and the day I set actually set aside for blog-writing was spent visiting my niece. She stopped here on her way across the country. She just graduated from specialized training in the US Navy and has a three week leave before her next assignment begins, so she’s going home for a visit, and we were a pit stop along the way. I’m sorry, but visiting my niece/godchild takes precedent over defining contract terms, particularly when I haven’t seen her in a year and a half.

These visits got me thinking about the importance of family and its impact in my writing. The novels that I’m working on right now—the one under contract and the series I’m pitching to an agent—both have characters with strong family ties.

The contracted piece deals with two twins who have lost their parents and only have each other. Forget about the “twin bond,” these two have forged a relationship that’s thick and tight. If the adage is true that blood is thicker than water, remember—they’re the only blood each other has left.

For the series I’m working on, I relied more on my heritage. It deals with four
Italian-American sisters for whom family is everything even before tragedy strikes their lives. And when it all hits the fan, those bonds are there, not to be tested, but to bear each other up.

So it’s pretty clear to me that my own life relationships pretty clearly shape my fiction. That isn’t to say that if my sister makes me angry she’s going to end up being a shrew in my next book, or if my dad buys me a car he’s going to be written in as a handsome billionaire (hint, hint; wink, wink; nudge, nudge). But it does mean that things in my life that touch me are reflected in the things that I write.

What about the things that are important to you? What things touch you, and do they make it into your writing in some manner? Tell us about your writing in the comments.

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