Monday, April 24, 2017

Life Experiences Create Emotional Stories

Psst …Want to know a secret?

Does it come as a surprise to know authors put things from their lives into their work? It isn’t done to be silly or self-centered. I do this because it fits my story. Here’s my secret: my fictional town of Sommerville is patterned on the neighborhood I live in. In many ways, it’s almost like living in a small town.

For example: my heroine from “Raving Beauty,” Kelly, is struggling home in the pouring rain with a cast on her leg. If she takes the short cut through the flowers, she’ll be out of her misery quicker. It’s easy to say “she cut through the flower bed.”

Rounding the corner, I took the shortcut and struggled through the flower bed of Indian hawthorn and Knock Out rose bushes into my apartment's parking lot.

And an apartment complex I once lived in had flower beds filled with Indian Hawthorne shrubs and Knock-out red roses. Made sense to put these plants in the story, and for the reader, these things paint a picture which makes the storytelling more realistic.

So back to the girl in the cast…

I once had a cast on my leg. I stepped into an unfilled hole and ripped my ankle. The doctor surprised me and said I would be having one. It wasn’t the first time I’d injured that joint. The first was during half-time at a football game while performing a high kick routine. My leg came down, my foot slipped on the damp grass. Crumpling, I heard a pop-pop-pop and then giant pain. (I soldiered on and limped off the field with the rest of the dance team.)

I needed an injury for my heroine. It’s no surprise when her high heel slips into a divot in the hardwood floor, and she sails off the stage with torn ligaments.

As my heel caught another divot, grace abandoned me. With a pop-pop-pop, my ankle bowed cockeye, and this time, my worst nightmare came true. I tumbled over the edge of the stage.

My friend stepped on an unlevel manhole cover and messed her ankle up so badly, she required an operation. She became my expert on all things to repair it—surgery, recovery, pain, etc.

          He elevated my foot by the heel and slanted his head, examining. "Possibly torn tibiofibular ligaments."
          Again. I sighed.
          "Same injury you had on the football field when doing the high kick at half-time during our senior year—right, Kel?" Maggie asked. “Your foot slipped on the damp grass, slid, and you collapsed on top of it.”

I’m certainly not an expert in all topics. However, my experiences worked well for this story, and in them comes feelings, feelings I can put in the work and make it better. Make it realistic. Full of emotion. And a satisfying read.

A nice blurb: What if the love of your life was in front of you all along?
It began innocently with a few margaritas… Kelly Stinson is persuaded to represent Yahoo! Ranch Steakhouse in the Chamber of Commerce’s beauty contest. After an unexpected swan dive off stage, her heart goes pitter patter over the orthopedic surgeon who repaired her ripped up ankle.

Daniel Ackerman has always had the hots for his twin sister’s best friend. Much to his dismay, her doctor has taken notice of the dark-haired beauty and invaded his territory. That’s about to change when he moves in to help Kelly recover physically and open her eyes to what’s been in front of her all along.

Preorder “Raving Beauty” in the Just You and Me boxed set for only $0.99 at:

Find Vicki at:

Did I mention I’d been a beauty contestant—twice?? Lol. What do you prefer-small towns or big cities?


  1. Replies
    1. Hi, Carlene! So nice you could stopy by and visit. I hope your day is going great and you get in the really fun stuff like reading. Hugs!

  2. Vicki, Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and sharing some behind the scenes tidbits from your soon-to-be released story.

  3. I don't so much use real life experiences as I do real life surroundings -- I just change the names.

  4. Hi, Angela! I do this too. My neighborhood is so gorgeous and small townish, it worked as a setting for my stories. Hugs!

  5. I love that you use real life experiences in your books. They do bring them to life for the reader because we have all had some of those moments!