When I published the fourth cozy I almost put a disclaimer at the beginning of the book to tell my friends and family who are still reading the series that while Maggie and I have a lot in common that we are not in fact the same person.
I like to joke with friends that these books are just basically me and my dog if we were living in the Fraser Valley where I grew up and stumbling across dead bodies. But it’s not really true.
In the same way that the grandpa in the books shares some backstory in common with my real grandpa but my real grandpa is much less gruff than the grandpa in the books. (And also married and living in Alabama now. He also never killed anyone.)
The books absolutely borrow heavily from real life and real experiences I’ve had. My mom likes to read them because they remind her of when we lived in the mountains. But have things changed in the thirty years since we lived up there? Oh, certainly. The setting is inspirational not factual at this point. I drove through the area before I wrote the first book, but I wasn’t measuring distances and plotting out town maps. It’s also why the valley name and cities are made up instead of using the actual names.
The fact is that real life is usually much more boring and tame than what makes for an interesting novel and if I ever have to choose between absolute accuracy and writing a fun story I’ll choose the fun story every time.
I mean, think about it. In real life no one finds more than one dead body, ever, if that. And if they do they certainly don’t go off and investigate on their own. The whole genre of cozy mystery requires a certain suspension of disbelief…
Anyway. I meant to write something a few weeks back because book 4 has a reveal about Maggie’s backstory that is absolutely not a part of mine. So, just for anyone who knows me who was wondering if that’s where my own relationship issues come from…No. Sorry. Haha.