Using Personal Experience To Write A Better Book

Using Personal Experience To Write A Better Book, guest post by Alexandrea Weis

Using Personal Experience To Write A Better Book, guest post by Alexandrea Weis

In writing Death by the River, I utilized my years in nursing to understand the perspective of both Beau Devereaux and his victims. Very often in nursing, we deal with the mental health of individuals. When working in a hospital setting, you encounter unstable personalities frequently. I pulled from my experiences with such individuals to add to the character of Beau. Granted, the psychological aspects that make up his mindset reflect more of the parameters of a serial killer, but there are instances that anyone battling mental health issues can relate to, specifically the overwhelming need to keep his “problem” secret. How Beau’s parents fight to hide what they’ve been dealing with, I experienced on numerous occasions, especially with younger patients whose parents felt they had reached their wits’ end. I felt that was important to show in this book because hiding a problem such as Beau’s ended up hurting many people in the story.

Using Personal Experience To Write A Better Book, guest post by Alexandrea Weis
Amazon - Goodreads
Another part of the book drawn from my nursing background was the shame and fear the victims felt after a “night of their life” with Beau. I have dealt with rape victims as well as have friends and coworkers who were raped. I doubt any woman doesn’t know someone who has suffered some form of sexual assault. I wanted to highlight their suffering by showing how many women are afraid to come forward because of the shame they will feel, and fear of repercussions by their assailant. Beau’s mother, Elizabeth, best represents the long-term effects of such silence. Although not a sexual assault victim, her fear of her son is similar to that of women who have been attacked. 

In writing any story, I always strive for accuracy in my portrayal of the characters. In Death by the River, my medical background helped tremendously with the writing of this twisted tale. But I have found having medical experience, and a history of seeing people at their best and worst, has made me a better writer. Nursing also taught me to research my butt off. And that, too, has carried over to my writing. Research is key to any story. If it is as close to reality as possible, it will draw the reader in and hold them throughout the story. Many times, I read a book and people have not bothered to get proper medical advice or looked up even the simplest of details related to medicine or the human body. Do your research as a writer. If you don’t, you will lose your audience. Seek out people who know the industry you are writing about, or at least check with Google. It will benefit you and your novel to check the facts. And you never know, something you learn might lead to a new plot twist, a new book, or even a great series. Happy writing!      

Using Personal Experience To Write A Better Book, guest post by Alexandrea Weis
Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, CRRN, ONC, PhD, is a multi award-winning author of twenty-five novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight.
Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable.
A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured animals. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans. Weis writes paranormal, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance.

Catch Up With Our Alexandrea On: WebsiteGoodreadsTwitter, & Facebook!

Using Personal Experience To Write A Better Book, guest post by Alexandrea Weis



  1. Enjoyed this post. Being a retired nurse, and after reading this, I definitely want to read this book.

  2. An awesome article which nicely shows that how to write a better book, guest book and guest post using personal experience. And most helpful for those students who want be a writer after complete their graduation and currently taking statistics assignment help - from the expert writers at Assignment Help Folks so they can focus on how to write a good writing. And this article will help them a lot in future.


I love to hear from you. So feel free to comment, but keep in mind the basics of blog etiquette — no spam, no profanity, no slander, etc.

Thanks for being an active part of the Writers and Authors community.