At the time I was writing it, it started as my own memoirs but transformed into a piece of fiction. All the emotions are mine, the setting is mine, the house is mine. But the characters are a composite of my students' stories.
And the nice thing about writing a novel is you take your time, you sit with the character sometimes nine years, you look very deeply at a situation, unlike in real life when we just kind of snap something out.
But I deal with this meditating and by understanding I've been put on the planet to serve humanity. I have to remind myself to live simply and not to overindulge, which is a constant battle in a material world.
I'm afraid I'm still trying to find that balance. Especially now that everyone wants a piece of me. I find that I have to become more and more reclusive, and pick and choose when I am public and when I am private.
Well, I'm Buddhist, Ray, and so part of my Buddhism has allowed me to look a little more deeply at people and the events in my life that created me. And I think a lot of that Buddhism comes out in the world view in this novel.