So many of my readers have asked if Travis Maddox is based on a real person. Could a womanizing, foul-mouthed charmer that you can’t help but love be out there somewhere? The short answer: Yes, yes he is.
My senior year of high school, I was thrilled to learn I had been accepted to an Oklahoma university far enough away not to feel like high school again, and close enough that I could take my laundry home to Mom when playing grown up got old.
I made friends right away, but one day, as I did sometimes, I felt like sitting at the lunch table alone. Wait. So your university really did have a dinky cafeteria where most of you had the same lunch time? Yes, really. On this particular day, sitting alone would garner the attention of our university’s version of the Walking One Night Stand. My very own Travis Maddox. That wasn’t his name, of course, but the cafeteria introduction of Travis and Abby compared to my experience was nearly verbatim.
“Travis” and I became fast friends, and although an obvious attraction existed, for whatever reason I was the one girl he didn’t immediately try to sleep with. We studied together. We made plans for the weekends. No one could figure us out, and just like Abby, I found myself fielding questions about our relationship daily.
On my 19thbirthday, my friends on the football team—including a Shepley and Brazeal—gathered to celebrate at Brazeal’s apartment. Although much fictional flair was added to that scene in the book, there were several parallels.
“Travis” was more a lover than a fighter, but he was just as devastatingly handsome, and charismatic. My best friend on campus, Robin, swore that the snag in my quest to rise above the friend zone was that “Travis” respected me, and truly cared about me, but just wasn’t ready at that stage in his life to find The One. I transferred schools before I had a chance to find out, and we lost touch.
Ironically, 12 years later, in my second year of Radiography school, I was waiting for a patient to dress after an exam in the hospital hallway. A man turned the corner, down the very hallway where I stood, and the second our eyes made contact, I knew. “Travis” stared back at me. His eyes lit up with recognition. “We know each other, don’t we. Yeah, we used to be buddies.”
I smiled as I was apprised of the highlights of his life since the time when we were important to each other. He was married, and his wife was four months pregnant. We congratulated each other on the paths our lives had taken, and he made a reference to what a great time in his life it was, those months we spent together. My heart ached when he walked away. Beautiful Disaster had been finished almost a year to the day.