I have a neighbor. He's in his mid-twenties, braids his goatee, is as rough and hard as asphalt--the type of guy you make sure not to make eye-contact with if you see him on the street. He heard I wrote books and asked what they were about. I told him I had written a book called "The Hunted," about Skinwalkers. His lips thinned. He told me a story. A story that made his voice shake. A story he could not tell while looking at my eyes. He stared at his hands all the while, probably clasping them to keep them from trembling.
"I was chased by a Skinwalker. I was driving along a dirt road in the middle of the night. When I saw it, I pushed on the gas as hard as I could. It ran as fast as my car. It looked mostly human, but not quite. I have never been more scared of anything in my life. I've never told anyone." Fact: "The Hunted" part two is about Skinwalkers that look mostly human... but not quite.
An old family friend of mine worked as a security guard at a youth mental hospital. While doing rounds one night, he witnessed a teenage girl committing suicide--she had tied a shoelace around her neck and was twisting it tighter and tighter with the pencil she'd looped through it. He turned to the hallway and screamed for help. When he turned back, she was gone. While searching the records of the hospital, he found the report of a teenage girl who had committed suicide by shoelace and pencil--more than half a century before. Now there's the premise for a story. Fact: I don't write ghost stories. I don't dare.
So, tell me, how much of the fiction you write is based on fact?