Like every author I shamelessly pinch incidents and snippets of conversation from my life and those around me. Of course I'd never use or identify a real person but my family often recognises something in a book. My father is a great source of anecdotes and information. At 90 he, as one of my friends puts it, is a legend. Dad, along with my mother-in-law is my biggest fan.
In Stuck I used his knowledge of woodturning to give my hero Brad his expertise. The story about the mice Brad tells Gina while they're stuck in the lift is true and happened to my Dad.
He is also the source of the opening line in The Right Chord. One of his many friends said this to him once:
"It's hopeless having an argument with you. You always see the other person's point of view."
He thinks it's a very chuckleworthy comment and still has a laugh about it whenever he rereads the book.
Check out both stories The Right Chord and Stuck