That would be a qualified no. Sometimes, a real person’s inflection will catch my ear, the mischief in their smile will catch my eye Maybe they have some colorful turns of phrase that I can tweak to tuck into a scene I’m working on, but I haven’t used anybody’s direct experiences to form the basis for a major character—with one exception.
My books come from me, from my life, from my experiences. I could write about Lady Eve falling off a horse because I’ve come a cropper many times (never with the results she suffered). I could write about the horror of realizing your child is climbing a tree to within several feet of a large hornets nest because my daughter did that. I can write about courtroom experiences because I’ve sat at many a counsel table before many a judge.
So yes, to some extent there is a real live person inspiring many of my characters—me.