Jonathan Franzen backed away from the edge of the stage when somebody asked him this question at Stockholm’s Kulturhuset’s writer scene. I have also been asked this question about Making Headlines and I will write down here what I told that person. Although I have worked in the media industry for a good number of years, I haven’t worked in television, which is where Chris Wilkinson finds himself. I did, however, base some of Eastern View’s headquarters on a former employer’s headquarters. Therefore, some of the descriptions are based on the truth but have been distorted. As for the characters, I can gladly say that I don’t know anyone like Chris Wilkinson although some of his personality traits do exist in people that I have known in the past. Again, all characters are grossly distorted and I have to say that I haven’t based any of the main characters on anybody that I know in reality. Having said that, the characters of Mr and Mrs Tyler were old neighbours of mine and I felt that I owed them a small place in my novel as a tribute as they have sadly passed away. In short, many of the characters in Making Headlines have their idiosyncrasies and these little personality traits (e.g. Detective West’s “hmmm”) have been lifted from some people I have met in the real world, but their characters are stretched and distorted to the point where they take on a life of their own. As it has been said many a time, writers write what they know about, but a large percent of what is written is pure fiction.