Now we've all heard this before -- write what you know. (There's also -- Write What you Love -- but that's another blogpost.)
In REMEMBERING YOU, I didn't have to go far for Genna's career. I was a chef. Actually, I started out as a lavastoviglie (dishwasher) and ended up executive kitchen manager at a small inn/banquet facility in Rhode Island. I also had several other hundred jobs in the restaurant field over the course of my career. I have done everything in a restaurant except hostess. (Don't know why.)
So it wasn't much of a stretch when it came to carving out Genna's career arc and her story-line. People in the restaurant industry burn out quickly. Late nights, alcohol, long hours. It might be easy, fast money but the toll on a body and mind is great. Which is why there's such a big turnover in the industry. But once you find a great "house" you stay there for as long as you can. Sometimes you never leave and that was how I sort of felt about the inn. (I ended up being there for eleven years.)
For Genna, her main conflict was whether or not to stay at her job or come home to her family. When I worked, I missed several major holidays a year, not to mention lesser ones. Weekends, nights, days, mornings, were all eaten up by the job. No vacations, barely time off, it's a price you pay to be the best. Sure I made a boat load of money, and had excellent health coverage, but I didn't see my family for about 15 years. True story. I was focused on my career.
So coming up with Genna's storyline wasn't that much of a stretch. I was faced with a similar situation. I had the option of remaining in the head chef's position or leaving to start my own business. Which was a major decision at the time -- do I stay with the money, or keep my sanity? I decided to keep my sanity.
I knew it would come in handy someday. Now I'm writing about it.
Tell me -- Do you write what you know? Have you put one of your situations in a book (or perhaps stolen someone else's)?