KEVIN: The inspiration behind the character
Ah, Kevin - the "Cat Stevens doppelganger with glasses."
Contrary to what many will assume, the relationship between Julia and Kevin is not based on any relationship I've ever had. But the physical description of Kevin when Julia visits him during his office hours? That's drawn directly from someone I knew for a short time exactly two years ago.
At first glance, he wasn't much to look at, but as I wrote about Kevin, "the sum was greater than its parts." He was one of those rare people by whom you divide your life into "before" and "after." Someone who careens into your world and right back out again, and overthrows everything in the process.
Brief as my acquaintance with him was, it had an indelible impact on me. It helped me empathize even more with the characters in my novel, and I went back and tweaked a few of the scenes to add more emotional depth based on how I now understood they must have been feeling.
He encouraged me to self-publish my novel, and writing him into the story in some small way was very cathartic.