The main character in my book, Beneath and Beyond, is named Tashi. In the story he is a Tibetan who grows up in a Himalayan village. When I was visiting Tibet, I had the privilege of meeting another author whose name was Tashi. We shared some homemade chang while we talked and I learned more about him.
Tashi had quite a colorful history, which included being a concubine for a lama to spending some time in a Chinese prison under Mai se dung. For a while to avoid prison, he came and lived in the United States, but he could not stand being away from his beloved Tibet. Once out of prison, he got on with his life and was instrumental in bringing schools to remote areas of Tibet.
He spoke beautiful English, which helped me as I am foreign language challenged. His first comment to me at the door was: “It’s good to see you again.” I would have found this greeting strange if I had not just that morning told someone in our small group of American travelers that coming to Tibet was like coming home.
Even though Tashi’s main personality was patterned after Tashi, the author, my fictional character is a combination of many people I met on my adventure in Tibet, the rooftop of the world.