This week ITW Members DiAnn Mills, Frank Zafiro, R.J. Pineiro, Gerald Dean Rice, Michaelbrent Collings and Lee Murray are discussing using real people as characters in their novels. What are the benefits? What are the potential pitfalls? Scroll down to the “comments” section to follow along!
Frank Zafiro is a retired police captain who writes procedurals, hard-boiled crime, PI mysteries, and more. He has teamed up with other writers such as Eric Beetner, Colin Conway, Lawrence Kelter, B. R. Paulson, and Jim Wilsky. He hosts the podcast Wrong Place, Write Crime, which features mystery authors. He is a big fan of Bruce Springsteen, hockey, and The Wire. He currently lives in Oregon, where he is also a tortured guitarist.
Lee Murray is a multi-award-winning writer and editor of science fiction, fantasy, and horror (Sir Julius Vogel, Australian Shadows), and a two-time Bram Stoker nominee. Her works include the Taine McKenna military thriller series (Severed), and supernatural crime-noir series The Path of Ra co-authored with Dan Rabarts (RDSP). Lee lives with her family in New Zealand where she conjures up stories from her office overlooking a cow paddock.
Born in Cuba and raised in Central America, R. J. Pineiro spent several years in the midst of civil wars before migrating to the United States in the late 1970s, first to Florida to attend Florida Air Academy in Melbourne. There, R. J. earned a pilot’s license and high school diploma in 1979 before heading to Louisiana for college. R. J. earned a degree in electrical engineering from Louisiana State University in 1983 and joined the high-tech industry in Austin Texas, working in computer chip design, test, and manufacturing. R. J. is married to L. M. Pineiro, an artist and jewelry designer. They have one son, Cameron & daughter-in-law Sarah, and two crazy dogs, Coco and Zea.
Gerald Dean Rice is hard at work on something right now. Whether it’s vampires, zombies, or something you’ve never seen before, he’s always dedicated to writing something unique. He’s the author of numerous short stories, including the Halloween eBook “The Best Night of the Year”, the YA book “Vamp-Hire,” the anthology Anything but Zombies, and the upcoming fantasy thriller The Bureau of Retired Spells and Broken Magic.
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She weaves memorable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Marketing Conference, and the Mountainside Novelist Retreat with social media specialist Edie Melson, where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.
Michaelbrent Collings is an internationally bestselling author, multiple Bram Stoker Award finalist, and produced screenwriter. Though best known for horror, he has written bestsellers in fantasy, sci-fi, YA, middle grade, urban fantasy, thrillers, and more.