I cannot believe any author who claims his novel is not autobiographical in some way. Whatever the genre is, even speculative fiction, there is always a piece of the writer in a character, perhaps, or in a scene.
When I wrote about the relationship between the two brothers in my novel, More Precious Than Rubies, I had no intention of describing the same relationship I had with my own brother when we were younger; however, remembrances of my past got into the novel anyway.
My brother and I, five years apart, went through the kind of conflicts that all brothers experience when they grow up. Being the younger sibling, I idolized my brother and overstepped the boundaries by constantly hounding him, trying to get him to admire me. Not surprisingly, he found me immature and got angry when I invaded his space. I couldn’t understand why until I got older.
The brothers in my book, Paul (the protagonist) and Adrian (the younger brother) have this same relationship and it is only when Adrian seems to be dying that the reader sees how much Paul loves his brother. The love was always there, of course. Big brothers just don’t know how to, or don’t want to, show it.
Paul, the reader will eventually learn, needs his father and his brother to help him be strong as they all grieve for the boys’ mother, killed years ago in a car accident.
At the beginning of More Precious Than Rubies, Paul is selfish, believing that he is the only victim after his mother dies. By the novel’s end, he understands that his entire family has been affected.