Recently I discovered that much more than you realise about yourself is going into print. After all it is your perception of how the world is that is being written.
You can disguise your setting by using different town names and if it is a local place, although not named, local people and friends can guess the building or shop or bus station mentioned.
If a well-known city is named people can picture the scene and that’s all right because you’re not giving anything of yourself away or that’s what you think.
A member of my family recently bought a Kindle and she had never had the opportunity to read my novels. She downloaded them and started reading the first one. She was tickled by the fact that she could pick out familiar places, but much more than that – she recognised her original home – I had used our original house as a minor character’s home. In my mind’s eye I didn’t need to think up a new interior, it was all there.
Characters are my own invention, but even although this is the case, people make assumptions because of the name or the part they play in the story. This is something I have no control over.
Still, as I said if someone were to chip away at a particular character, they would find parts of the author’s character under the surface – we display more than we would admit or would like to.