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“Social Media Is Not Real Life,” – Essena O’Neill
“Nothing Reads Like Real Life” – me

After three years of FaceBook-ing/Instagram-ing/Tweeting, amassing nearly a half a million ‘friends’ and followers, after securing endorsements from major manufacturers and retailers, the adolescent interweb phenom Essena O’Neill took to social media to decry (and cry) about how Social Media Is Not Real Life. 
Many critics have skewered her for taking to the very same platform she used to gain her ‘popularity’ to denounce it. Personally, I think she’s not only wise, but damn near brilliant. She built an audience and then preached to it. I applaud her. She’s right. Social Media is not real life, and far too many people believe and live like it is. How many “likes’ has become validation for experience/existence. The number of ‘friends/followers” has become the measure of importance. Social Media is just media manipulated by the people using it to thier own gain; no different than commercial media is manipulating content to sell soap. 
In my works, I pull from real life, using real people to weave into stories for entertainment. I love to remind people to “be careful, or you’ll end up in my novel!” In my first book, the lead characters of Jake and Sam who are bonded by loyalty and the desire to do what’s right, were modeled after my nephew and son. The character of Squire is named for a lawyer who really is a lawyer nicknamed Squire in the MC world. The owner of Cote’s Lounge, Paul, is named for a real person. The daughter of Angela, Lydia, really is the daughter of a friend who used to be a catering manager. The burial scene is taken from real life, the barroom fight really happened, at the location as described. In the latest book, the lead character, a bike builder named Earle is modeled after the guy who built my bike: “The Beast”. His name is Earle and he builds some of the best scooters for the 1% community near where I live. Butch and Sundance really are my oldest riding brother and me. And there’s more. 
Nothing Reads Like Real Life. 
In my current project, the lead heroine was inspired by a real person. She’s not identical to the character in this manuscript, but lots of her strengths and weaknesses, her traits and characteristics are there. Even the supporting characters of a bartender and DJ at a strip club comes from real Life.

I don’t know how this book is going to turn out, I haven’t finished living it yet. 
That’s what I love about what I do. 
Live life and then write about it.