I’m sure you’ve all had the experience when something that you've have heard or seen in real life pops up again soon after in the book of fiction you're reading. Happens to me all the time. But let me tell you about a very strange occurrence that happened during the early stages of writing my novel.
I‘d added Lord Robert Kerr as a main characters one rather late in the day. He got into the novel when I discovered he had a strong and interesting link to my other two main characters. He, by the way is real, that is he actually existed. I then went on to create a fictional cousin for him. To add some authenticity to the cousin I thought I would see where his real cousins may have lived. For plot purposes it needed to be in Scotland but somewhat geographically removed from Robert. Now here’s the weird part. When I looked up Robert’s family tree (easily done because of his peerage) I discovered a second cousin of his who was very likely distantly, indeed very distantly, related to me! Robert’s cousins family were the Dunbars of Mochrum in Wigtownshire while mine were Dunbars the grocers in Kirkinner just down the road. The very small numbers of people with this name in the area (as reported in Parish records some years before the setting of my novel) is pretty strong evidence of the likely family link. How could I resist? I wrote my family into my novel!
Has anyone else had a similar experience where there fiction merges with reality?