Any of those people that you learned with, did you relate any of them with characters in some of your stories?
Yes, actually. But most of the times, I take one aspect of somebody. Like, I had a good friend named Annie who was a six-foot-one woman. And I had never thought about the problems being six foot one in our society as a woman could cause. And she talked about it a lot, it's not all who she was, but it was something that was a conflict that I had never seen. So when I wrote Elantris, I'm like, "I'm gonna use this, because it feels real, it's really interesting, it's something I'd never heard about from someone else. Plus I have a reader who can read it and tell me if I get it right." So it's not like Sarene is based on Annie. But Sarene has that one aspect of Annie that I used. And that's usually how you normally see me using people in books.
Bridge Four are all my friends, though. All of the non-main Bridge Four members who keep surviving and not getting killed, those are just my friends. Skar and Drehy and Leyten, and Peet is Peter my assistant. All my friends ended up in Bridge Four, except for Ben, who's still in my writing group, who said "No, you can't put me in."
Because that actually happened during Mistborn. I said, "Hey, Micah," who was my roommate at the time, "Your last name is DeMoux, that's a cool French-sounding name. Can I use it in a book?" He's like, "Sure. But I have to get a girl. And I have to not die. It doesn't have to be the girl. I have to be successful in my romantic inclinations." And I'm like, "Alright." So Captain Demoux got put in. Meanwhile, Ben was walking by, who was my roommate at the time, and he's like, "Put me in, but kill me in a really, really terrible way." So I did. I put him in Mistborn and killed him in a terrible way. Then he read the book, and he's like, "No, you can't use me like that." It's okay, it became a guy who dumped my sister-in-law. *laughter* But there's a very gruesome death in Mistborn 2 that happens in a very-- shall we say, someone who does not do well for themselves, let's just say that. And that was Ben. But he made me take him out. And then I was putting people in Stormlight, I'm like, "You don't want to be in?" He's like, "No, don't use me." I finally got away with slipping him into the Wax and Wayne books under his online name Rick Stranger.