You’re so vain I bet you think this story’s about you.

I wear this shirt sometimes. I think it’s funny when people think it’s an enticement.

It’s a warning.

It’s something you should be aware of when you know an author. You don’t get to choose what bits show up in stories, and what parts don’t. If you’re a particularly paranoid sort of person, you’ll suddenly start seeing yourself in all their stories.

Which means that either they’re completely putting you in the stories, or that they’re doing a good job as a writer and you’re empathizing with the characters.

I’m mentioning all this because it’s easy to confuse an author and their work. It’s easy to think that all works are biography. The same amounts of inspiration from real world events or emotions are there in all my stories – but people don’t ask as much when the stories feature time-travelers or zombies in love.

So I’m heading off the questions that will inevitably come from my drabble in this week’s Drabblecast, “Turning to Stone“. I know that I’ll get them from some quarters, simply because it got the questions when I showed an earlier version to my writing group quite some time ago. And I know it’s not just real life, because things got changed in the editing process when Norm picked the story up.

So is that really you in that story there?

The answer, of course, is that it’s absolutely true. And it’s completely made up. That character is totally based on you. And completely imaginary.

All at the same time.