When I first started writing my novel, I made my main character several years older than I was. There were several reasons:
- People I know might be less likely to confuse my main character with me, the real person
- The main character would have grown up with a different set of ideas about how women should live their lives, which was useful in giving her the husband I gave her
- Her kids would be considerably older than my real kids and less likely to be confused in people’s minds with my own kids (see #1)
All that is now out the window. Technically she is still older than I am, because her birth date is before mine, but she is frozen in the present-day of the novel. I am, apparently, not. To my horror, I am now older than she is in the present-day of the novel and my children are rapidly approaching the ages of her children. It’s going to be more difficult to convince people this is not my life and my family if (when) my novel is published. Unless it takes another twenty years, in which case, no worries.