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I'm interested in writing a fictional version of my experiences working for a major company.  Am I able to use the name of the company and the real names of my co-workers?  I don't intend to slander anyone but every plot needs heroes and villians.

I'd strongly recommend against it.  It's not illegal at all, on the face of it, but it's a dangerous game.  What you see as non-slanderous may not be seen as such by others.  And private people (i.e., not celebrities) are entitled to MORE protections when it comes to such things as invasion of privacy.

Yes, every plot needs "heroes and villains."  But if that's what you're going for, I highly recommend you not only change the names of the company and employees, but make them unrecognizable.  None of your coworkers should be able to read your story and say, "Oh, that's me!  And that's Joe," etc.

You're just flirting with a lawsuit, otherwise.

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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