Research vs. Creative License
One of the challenges with writing a novel that has real people as characters is that you have to do some research if you’re going to talk about their past. I have my plan written up for the chapter I’m working on, but before I start writing, I’ve got to get my facts straight. I’m not going to get too bogged down in all that since the action is in their present, not in the past, but I do have to have a few details right in order to explain things.
It’s a fine line, though. How tied to the truth does it have to be if it’s fiction? Dan Brown obviously didn’t care about facts so much as telling a good story, and I have to say even with all the things he got wrong, I really didn’t care as a reader. It was still a great mystery and a fun read.
To me, it’s all about the story I want to tell. If those details add to the believability of what I’m describing and help you understand the characters better and the setting for the book, then it’s important to me to get it right. Otherwise…ehh. I mean, come on. After all, they are vampires. I think I’ve got some lee-way.