Writers often get asked how much of themselves show up in the pages of their books. Writers, on the other hand, often have to say that they are not their characters.
The truth is that rarely is a fictional character based solely on the author. But this is not to say that authors don’t put something of themselves in everything they write. They assign their beliefs to different characters. They use their own knowledge or skills for characters. Different characters display emotions of the author.
That really scary book? Good chance it’s based on a nightmare of the author. If it’s not one he/she had at some time, it’s one s/he’s thought out and put on paper. That fantasy character who can become invisible and watch people? The writer perhaps dreamt that as a child or wishes the ability was real as an adult.
It’s not all “write what you know.” If we only wrote what we knew, we might have only one book to write. And it might be rather dull. But that statement could hold water if you took it to mean write what you can learn. You put in not only what you already know and believe, but what you can research and learn.
A bit of the author is in every book s/he writes. But so are a lot of other things.
5 months ago