Write what you know?
I confess, I’ve never actually met a werewolf. Or a werebear. Or a spaceship pilot. And while I still have my pointe shoes from way back when, I never danced the lead in Giselle. And honestly, I’ve never even been to Canada. Or outer space, for that matter.
I do tend to write what I know though–pervs, get your minds out of the gutter!–when it comes to the big ideas. I like to write about personal adventures, journeys of the spirit on the way to finding true love and happy ever after, and I have to admit, some of those are influenced by observations or questions I make about the world around me. When all the parents are tattooed and pierced and have dyed hair (as my generation is wont to do) how will their children rebel? (This question keeps me up at night sometimes).
There are also twins all up over my writing. I’m a twin, and mom to twins, so I use my observations from both perspectives, and twin relationships show up all over the place in my writing.
As for the hobbies that make a character real to me? The things they enjoy when they aren’t getting horizontal with the other main character? Some of my characters share my passion for art, photography, and writing. Some of the others might take up glassblowing or boxing because I thought it would be fun. And I confess, every single character I torture with my own obsession with running? Yeah, they could so kick my ass in a race, but they got that from me.
Maybe I’ve never danced with a werewolf in outer space…so what? The real life adventures of Vanessa are pretty fun too. 🙂