Then too, I often include real life drama in my stories that I've read about. I research wolves for my werewolf series, and for all the stories I write about I include real places, even if I change the names or combine different places in an area to make it my own unique place. They're still based on real areas, like in To Tempt the Wolf, or Destiny of the Wolf. In Heart of the Wolf, the red alpha leader's ranch is a real place that I found advertised for sale in Oregon. Perfect for the story. :)
And real people too are great for fictionalizing into stories! Ever know someone who is so frugal they unscrew some of the lightbulbs in light fixtures that have multiple bulbs? Or so neat that everything in their closet is perfectly aligned by season, color, sporty, dressy wear? Or so talkative that you avoid seeing them if you're in a rush? Or so snoopy that if you tell them anything, you know it will get around the world in a millisecond? So real people, too, can be drawn into characterizations in fiction.
A tidbit I might read about in a news article can find its way into a story. An article on silver fit well into my upcoming Legend of the White Wolf. A hurricane-strength storm off the coast of Oregon worked well for To Tempt the Wolf. A story about a real wolf in peril will be included in one of the newest contracted works.
So can real life affect fiction? You bet! And be all the better for it!
When I read a story, I always love knowing that some aspect of the story is true. Even if it has vampires, or werewolves, or hunky Highlander's, oh my!
What about you?
Destiny of the Wolf, Heart of the Wolf--Publishers Weekly "Best Books of the Year!" To Tempt the Wolf (Sept), Legend of the White Wolf (2010) "Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."