That being said, when the five of us are together, it is fun and affectionate. We laugh at the same things, marvel that our memories are as different as if we hadn’t grown up together, and vow that we will see each other more often. But we don’t.
I like writing people who are easy to identify with. My heroines are never feisty and my heroes are never alpha (unless they’re truly ticked off—then they have their moments). My protagonists are nice-looking but never gorgeous, built okay but never a size two. A six-pack in a Liz Flaherty book always refers to beer, never to abs. They are people like ones I know, not ones I envy or disbelieve. (This doesn’t make my people better or worse than feisty, alpha, great-looking heroes and heroines—it’s just how I like them.)
But the sibling connections I write about are nothing like the relationships I have with my sister and brothers. Things are, I guess, how I wish they were. I remember being disappointed that LaVyrle Spencer often left the sibling relationships in her books unresolved at the stories’ end. But those endings were more realistic than I would have written them.
It’s interesting to me that I want my protagonists to be people I know and am comfortable with, but I want their brothers and sisters to be the size-two and six-pack-abs of siblinghood.
How about you? What role do siblings play in your stories, or in your life? Do they make a difference in how you write?