Are your characters real people?
I’m often asked if the characters in my books are based on real people.
The short answer is yes.
The long answer is yes, but not really.
My dear friend Y, who used to work as an investment manager with me in my previous firm, insists that in the book, Crunching Her Numbers, I based Guy Glick on a colleague we had—an intelligent and professional man always willing to help and explain things. Another friend of mine, K, swears that we worked under someone like Matan, Kelly's dick boss. Perhaps she's right.
What about the lead characters?
Do I know someone like Ilan, the ex-special forces private investigator?
Actually, I do. He is a mix of tough but sensitive Israeli men, although I made him way sexier than he has any right to be. (I modeled his appearance after Jason Statham.)
The readers' favorite character, Slava, is a young and handsome masseur with a knack for quoting moving Russian poetry.
When my book cover artist asked for a description, I couldn't find any stock photo that matched him to my satisfaction, so I provided general details, and she worked her usual magic to create a great picture.
After the book was released, my daughter surprised me by asking if I based Slava's appearance on her father, my husband. No, that wasn't the case, though I have no complaints about the comparison.
Now, what about the heroine, Kelly?
The story revolves around this Argentinian character. Is she based on someone I know?
On me, perhaps?
Well, partially. We have the same profession, and I have worked in a portfolio management company that shares similarities with Kelly's workplace. I also have a good understanding of Argentina, as I have lived there and in its neighboring country, Uruguay.
The book's opening scene, where Kelly finds herself alone in a room full of fifteen men, having to deal with a misogynistic remark, actually happened to me. Alas, I didn't have a sharp retort like she did.
As for a physical comparison - Kelly has brown eyes, stands tall at 180cm (5'11"), and resembles Gal Gadot.
Out of those three characteristics, only one applies to me.
The truth of the matter is that people in books are always based on people the author knows, but are also completely different from them.