Several of the central characters in the Demeter series are derived from people I know. The genesis of the central character, William Ryder (Ryder) is my oldest son, Gerald. Some of the plot line comes from actual events. For example, the confrontation with the Barry Ryder character at the school dance, and the aftermath actually happened with little variance from fact. Family members have argued that in some cases, as the plot develops in all five books that there is a merger between the reality of my oldest son and myself. I hope the good attributes came from me lol. The real Ryder, Gerald, is one of the smartest people I have ever met, and I’ve met a lot of smart people. He focuses more on music, than academia. He has a small one bedroom apartment in Seattle, Washington that he has converted to a sound studio and sound booth for recording bands. Don’t ask where he sleeps, I stayed at his apartment once. I prefer a hotel.
Debbie’s character is certainly the most lively character in the series, and one that is hard to imagine in real life. The character is based on my youngest daughter, who also maintains this website. There is nothing that Debbie does, that would be a surprise if my daughter did the same thing. At age three, she suggested to her mother, my wife, that I move to California and that she would move into the room with my wife. Some of the descriptors for her, including being an astronaut, pilot, president of the United States are in fact things that she has said from a very early age. If you read the Mesa Verde story, she did, try to convince us when she was a child that she had found a saber tooth tiger.
Becky’s character is based on my older daughter. When we moved to a new area, she did in fact, take pride in making it through a whole day of school while speaking only seven words. An avid reader, she has had years where she has read well over 300 books. She is now married and lives in West Virginia with her husband and four children.
Randy and Joel? Their characters evolve a lot over the course of the five book series. They really come into their own in books three and four. Their characters are based on my two middle sons. The short story about the barn burning is based on a real event.
With children like this, I don’t have to move to far from non-fiction to build the delightful characters in the stories and books of Demeter.
Back Row Left to Right: David (Randy), Gerald (Ryder), Naomi (Becky)
Front Row: Sara (Debbie) and Robert (Joel)