Friday, May 15, 2009

The Boy I Loved One Week At A Time



Hosted by Cecily and Mama Geek


So, when I started my YA novel (now a series of 4 novels), I had really no idea where the story would lead or what from my life I would lean on to drive or influence this story. Now that I've been writing for nearly five months and have completed 3 of the 4 novels in the series - it is very clear who my characters are and it is also very clear who they represent in my life.

Some of the characters are truly fictional and might have some quirky characteristic of someone I know personally that enhances that character in some way, but there are others - like Brian - that are more a direct reflection of someone specific in my life.

Brian is the main male character in my novels. He is a recreation of a boy I met when I was 16 years old and I lived in Germany.

Our church had gone on a ski retreat to Garmish, Germany, and as I recall, we were only there for about five days. When the bus I was on (with my sister and my best friend Sherry and all the other kids from our church) pulled into the parking lot of the resort hotel we were staying at, Brian's pulled in as well. From my seat on my bus, I saw him through the window sitting on his bus and from that very moment I knew I had to "hook up" with that boy for the duration of this ski retreat. Fortunate for me - he was thinking the same thing about the girl on that Stuttgart bus. And ... we did. We were together the entire time and I fell in love with this special boy. I only ever saw him one other time (another church retreat - where we were together again for another 5 days). He was the boy I used to say that ... I loved ... one week at a time.

And - while I was only 16 years old at the time - I DID love this boy. If we had lived in the same town in Germany we would have definitely been together. But, we didn't. He lived on an Air Force base (K-town) and I lived on an Army (Robinson Barracks, Stuttgart) base many miles apart. We weren't even able to easily call each other. We wrote letters, but eventually we lost touch.

Anyhow ...

Brian is the boy from my youth that the Brian in my novel is based on. He is not the boy I dated the longest or kissed the most, but he is the boy I loved the hardest. Maybe it was because he loved me too.


This is Brian's high school picture. He was 17 at the time.




This is what he wrote on the back ...



I keep this picture of Brian close by when I am writing my story, as the story I am writing is a teenage love story and the love I had for this boy was so strong and pure, I am able to draw from that time, those experiences, that boy - that love - to help tell Laney and Brian's story.



I also keep these two pictures close by.






These are pictures of my husband (Billy) when we first met. He was twenty-two at the time. The love I had for him and still have for him - also drives and influences the plot and Brian's character in my books.

I'm so lucky to have known Brian and have the vivid memories of these two special boys (and some others) to lean on to help write Laney's story. But, more than that - I am so lucky they are a part of my story - my life.




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14 comments:

~Jamie said...

I think I love him too :)

but that's because I love Laney's Brian of course...

Chris said...

I've always been of the opinion that you should write truth -- even if it's a fictional story, I think it gives weight and life to the words.

Jessica said...

That's so sweet that you have people to influence you that way!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Sounds like you have some great memories and experiences to help drive your books! good luck!

latree said...

whenever I write, it's also always about some one.
but i never put one's picture next to me or some one will get jealous :D

dani said...

hey, kel:) i'm so out of the loop... going to have to backtrack a bit!!! is it just me, or did billy and brian resemble??? have you kept in contact with brian???
i'm so excited about your novels and cannot believe how quickly you have produces them. i know they will be a hit:D
much love,
dani xxxxxx

Brenda said...

Your Brian and Billy could almost be brothers. I liked this post Miz Kellan.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

I agree with Jessica, you really DO have such a powerful influence Kellan. What wonderful memories!

Jeanette said...

I love this post. As a fellow writer I can totally relate. My characters all have bits and pieces taken from people I have met along the way. Good luck with your novel. Sounds like a good one.

Kami's Khlopchyk said...

So cool! I love knowing how the characters came alive for you.

Love is the greatest of all the gifts!

mannequin said...

oh.... I was thinking as reading that he looked so similar to your husband. What a wonderful life story and now it's a book!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Great inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kellan. Billy and Brian could be twins. Billy looks like Brian with the braces gone, a better haircut and a few years older. I love your books, the love story takes me back 37 years to the memory of my "Brian". They are experiences and a part of my life story I haven't thought about in years, but they certainly had a huge impact on the paths I've followed in my life. I'm so excited to read your 3rd book, Tom is printing it off for me today, I can't wait. I may have to fight Matt and Abby for it cause they've caught up with me now. Love you, Vic.

Jaina said...

Oh Kellan, I'm SO excited to read your books. I'm glad to get these little glimpses of the characters. They help satiate the impatience. (but only temporarily)