They say life imitates art, and now we’ve got proof! In James L. Rubart‘s RT Top Pick! inspirational romance The Five Times I Met Myself, the protagonist, Brock, learns to manipulate his dreams. In part, Brock journeys back to when he met his wife. Instead of inventing a romantic tale for this happening, Rubart used the very story of how he met his own wife! We wanted to hear the whole scoop, and the author kindly obliged.
There’s a saying that most novelists’ first books are autobiographical. Write what you know, right? It was true for me. When a close friend read my first novel, Rooms, he said, “You know your character, Sarah? She’s based on Darci isn’t she?”
“Completely,” I said.
I used my wife’s personality, build, hair color, and speech to create Sarah. But with my latest novel, The Five Times I Met Myself, I’ve taken that idea three steps further.
Romance is a thread in all my novels, but I’ve made up the romance as I go because my characters have always met for the first time in the present. But for The Five Times I Met Myself, I needed to create a story of how the characters met back in 1985 because that’s an integral part of how the romance plays out in 2015.
As I mulled that over, the story of how Darci and I met (back in 1984) popped into my mind. Our story is amusing, fit the timeline of novel perfectly and we’ve always thought it could easily be a be a meet cute in a movie. Why not use it in the novel? Other than changing a few names, the story in the novel of how Brock and Karissa met is exactly how it happened for Darci and me.
My best friend was smitten by Darci and in July of 1984, asked her to go to the Birch Bay water slides in northern Washington state. She suspected a more-than-just-friends interest from my pal, so she invited her roommate as a buffer. My friend didn’t want to be the only guy and invited me to come. You’re already ahead of me, aren’t you?
By the end of the day, I was in love. Darci was my dream girl. And when Darci got home, she told her roommate, “Well, I don’t know who I’m going to marry, but I know who I’m not going to marry.”
She had a number of guys pursuing her in those days, but knew after being with me she wasn’t going to settle for any of them. (Aw, shucks.)
And my friend? I apologized for what happened, but he just grinned and said, “No worries. I knew if you two ever met, you’d hit it off.” He even wrote a song and sang it in our wedding—and was my best man.
Writing the story of how we met into one of my novels is such a kick. A way to immortalize it, a way to share it with readers even though most of them won’t know it’s our story, and a way to tell Darci she’s still my dream girl after all these years.
(For those of you who have already read The Five Times I Met Myself, yes, we’ve been back to the water slides a number of times since that first day we met.)