The Background to Bailey Otis

I don't often use real people in my books, but in Love and Other Drama-Ramas I did. Bailey Otis is based on a boy I used to know a long time ago. He was tall and slim with floppy black hair, just like Bailey. Here's the letter from the front of the book explaining the background:

This book features a very special boy, Bailey Otis. Readers often ask me are any of the Ask Amy Green characters based on real people. In Bailey's case the answer is yes. When I was thirteen a dark-haired boy used to follow me home from school. He never said a word, just walked a few steps behind me, which was a little unnerving.

One day I'd had enough of this creepy behaviour. I spun around and asked him what he was playing at. He shrugged and said I looked nice and that he just wanted to talk to me. Then he gave me this lovely shy smile from under his floppy fringe.

So we talked. It turned out we had a lot in common – we were both big readers and loved old movies - and we quickly became friends. He told me his mum had died recently and he was having a tough time dealing with it.

A few months after we first spoke, he and his Dad moved away and we lost contact, but I've always wondered what happened to him. I hope he's happy. Bailey Otis was inspired by my lost friend.

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