The Inspiration Behind The FRIENDZONE Series

The FRIENDZONE Series was very, very loosely inspired by events and people in my life. That is not to say that the characters from FRIENDZONE or the events that happened are true or based upon real people or events. It’s just the idea for the story that was inspired by things from my own life.

When I was in elementary school, there was a boy that I was often paired with for projects, assigned to sit at the desk next to, and just generally thrown together with for various activities. My parents often teased me saying that we would get married some day. This particular boy and I were on friendly terms. We would ride bikes together with out other friends and played basketball together.

Michelle Hillstrom Pom-Pon Squad Photo 2001-2002

For some unknown reason, when we went to middle school, this boy avoided me, and basically stopped talking to me altogether. He became friends with a different friend group and we drifted apart, so much so, that once we were in high school, I didn’t even notice when he ended up transferring to a different high school until a long time after. This boy and our friendship and separation was the inspiration for the friendship of Mikayla and Taylor.

Similar to Mikayla I had a close group of girl and guy friends that I did everything with. I had a Cocker Spaniel dog growing up, and I danced on a dance team and Pom-Pon Squad. I also grew up in West Texas.

Michelle Hillstrom college move-in day August 2003.

SKIP THIS NEXT SENTENCE IF YOU WANT TO AVOID A SPOILER FROM PLAYING FOR KEEPS!!! ***SPOILER– In PLAYING FOR KEEPS, Mikayla ends up dropping out of college for mental health reasons and because she doesn’t think that it is the right path for her at the time. I also dropped out of college my freshman year after high school due to problems with my mental health.–END OF SPOILER**

The summer before my senior year of high school, a boy that I had gone on a couple dates with died unexpectedly and it was traumatizing and heartbreaking. It’s something that still effects me to this day, and I still think about that boy all of the time. The FRIENDZONE Series was written as a tribute, and dedicated to him.

Everything else was completely fictitious and made up without any basis on events in my life. As a writer, I often take experiences from my own life and try to put different twists and spins on them to create a story that I think readers will enjoy and be able to relate to.

In The Faithful Kiss, Katelynn gets a job as a bartender while she is in college, I worked in night clubs and tended bar when I was 19-23. The college in The Faithful Kiss was inspired by a college that I toured in Tennessee while I was trying to decide what colleges to apply to.

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Have you ever written a story/book that was inspired or based on events in your life? Have you ever done something that you think would make a good story or experienced something that you would like to write about? Tell me about it in the comments.

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Until next time, my friends!


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