I drafted a book two years ago that I'm now polishing to publish. When I drafted it, for speed's sake, I named one of my primary characters after an old school friend who I'm still in contact with on Facebook. The character's personality isn't him (though he does look a lot like him), I've just used his name. Let's call him Bob Snow.
I don't know whether this happens to other writers out there, but after living with this character through several drafts, he has thoroughly become Bob Snow.
I've tried, over and over, to rename him to Jim Snow, Bob Potts, any number of iterations and new names, but none of them fit because he has become a real person to me. It feels like your best mate saying, I've changed my name by deed poll and you need to call me FlameBoy from now on.
Every beta reader has LOVED this character, he's a really good guy, so there are no issues with defamation. And I'm sure, if I asked Bob's permission, he would probably be flattered. It's a thriller series with 3 books in the offing, so Bob will show up a lot.
Are there possible bumps down the road that I can't see?
Has anyone else faced such a dilemma?
FOR CLARIFICATION (AFTER SOME COMMENTS BELOW): "Let's call him Bob Snow." seems to be causing some confusion. His name isn't Bob Snow, I just used that as an example to keep his real name out of this post. For clarity: I don't just want to use his first name. If that were the case, I wouldn't worry. I want to use his full name.
The character is a Muslim, Indian man. That complicates things because, I can't just change his surname to any Indian surname, it has to be, specifically, an Indian, Muslim surname that fits perfectly with his first name, otherwise I could have backlash from readers asking why he has a Muslim first name and a Christian surname.
Without this added complication, a world of name combinations would be open to me. But, my options are partially limited.