"So, which character are you in your book?"
And then watch for the twitch. Every author I know--including myself--has been asked that. The first few times I didn't quite know how to respond. I flustered and fumbled while they stood there staring at me, waiting for an answer. I said what I thought to be true at the time.
"None of them are!"
"Yeah, sure." Was the look I got.
I'm not sure why this embarrassed and irritated me. Possibly because if people thought I was writing stories staring myself, it would cheapen it, make it seem juvenile. I let this bother me for far too long. Eventually I found myself taking a short (working) vacation in Montana with Lisa. Somehow we got on the topic and, thankfully, she saw it exactly how it was. It wasn't a matter of which character I was, but rather that they are all a splinter of me.
That gave me a lot to think about on the five hour drive home. I thought sure I could find one of the many characters we've created to whom I haven't loaned one small trait or habit. I couldn't.
Each and every one of them have something that comes from me. It would be impossible to create them otherwise! I suppose if you exploded my personality into a dozen different fractions it would look like the cast of The 1929 Series. From Jonathan to the Beady-Eyed one. And everyone in between.
I know now that the people who ask this question aren't trying to embarrass or irritate. They just don't understand how this works. Until that conversation I didn't consciously understand it either.
I texted LIsa that I'd gotten home safely and thanked her for giving me so much to think about. She texted back:
"Have you figured out what you gave Elizabeth?"