Liars Club

I Feel Like I Know You!

by Simmons on January 10, 2011

in Liars Club Philly,The Writing Life,The Writing Process

Burning Question: Readers’ most frequent questions answered.

Today, I answer a reader’s question:

Are you as promiscuous as your main character?

Yes, it’s true, a woman in a book club actually put down her glass of Pinot Grigio and raised her hand to ask me this question.  And you have to admit, it’s a lot more interesting than “Where do you get your ideas?”  Now if a man had asked me the same question, I’m not sure I would have been as charmed, or as honest.  But this question is really asking how characters are formed:  Do I borrow from my own bag of traits?

And the answer is that in this case, I borrowed from someone else’s traits.  The character Claire, in Standing Still, already carried the heavy mantle of one of my own traits–having panic disorder–so I certainly didn’t want to burden her with all my other annoying qualities (like my dislike of football — move two inches, stop the clock. move another two inches, stop the clock). What’s more, she needed to be insecure and afraid of being alone — so making her promiscuous in her youth  simply made sense.  And since we’ve all known someone like that, it was easy.

(And no, I didn’t do any personal research in order to get inside her slutty ways.)

Kelly Simmons is the author of Standing Still (Simon & Schuster) and coming in February, The Bird House. Learn more at She is also a very responsible tweeter: and a good facebook friend to have (kellyatbubble), primarily because she is about to give  free stuff away.


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