My main characters aren't based (trait-wise) on any real person. I do have to admit that Noah Grant in WILD WEDDING WEEKEND was based looks-wise on Brad Pitt. And Jake Hawkins in my WIP "This Feels Like Home" is based looks-wise on Matthew McConaughey. But their personalities are all their own.
I do some name dropping with people I know as minor characters. In WILD WEDDING WEEKEND I used all of my friends and their families as Noah's brothers and sisters. I didn't tell them, so it was fun to get their reactions after they read the book for the first time. They were all delighted to be immortalized in print!
So far my settings have all been based on real places. It's just so much easier for me to create a world for my characters to walk around in that I've actually seen. I've done some tweaking, like "moving" the setting to another part of the country, but most of the settings are very recognizable to those who know me. THIS TIME FOR ALWAYS features the bar where my husband and I met. I take Noah and Abby to all of the places we visited on our honeymood in WILD WEDDING WEEKEND. And Zach and Jessica fall in love in THIS CAN'T BE LOVE at one of our favorite yearly vacation spots. Even my free read MISTLETOE AND FOLLY features my neighborhood downtown area.
Lawsuits? Probably not. Inspiration? Plenty of that.
Until next time,