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Writing Books/fictional work with strong non-fiction premise

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Question
I'm close to completing a manuscript on Spirituality and the Workplace. The fictional story is supported by substantial non-fiction research, which I surely plan to reference. My characters attend real schools and work in real places, i.e., Jake attended Boston College. Jake worked as a manager at IBM. Jake had a discussion with Bill Gates of Microsoft. (Of course, he didn't but can I use it ?)  Thanks !  Bill

Answer
William...probably not... unless it is a "real" quote,  you might run into trouble...and you might not.  This type of writing is usually called "creative non-fiction"...which is somewhere between fiction and non-fiction...and usually is a tough sell.  

If is it non-fiction, and educational, copyright laws usually allow you to use up to 500 words of direct quotes...but otherwise, I would not use Bill Gates...and simply make up a person like him and then you can do anything you want to ....

Sue

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Sue Viders

Expertise

I can answer various questions about how to create characters for fiction writers.

Experience

Two published books, Heroes and Heroines, and Ten Steps to Creating a Memorable Character, plus years of teaching both on-site and on-line

Publications
Several national magazines...had monthly columns

Education/Credentials
BFA

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