The Pooles are Elisabeth, Mike, Maddy, and Elliot. The Pauleys are Bethy, Grace, Suzy, and Carrie. The Pardens are Annelise and David. The Experiment is dedicated to those who inspired these characters. For some of the characters, I used the middle name, or a variation thereof, for the name of the character. For a few I chose a different name, Elliot and David in particular. Those were just random names chosen because I didn't want to call a character by the middle name of the person they were inspired by. "David" found himself and his sister in the book when he was reading it, and his question was, "Why didn't you give me a little brother?" After explaining that I didn't need any more characters, he told me that next book I put him in, I had to give him a little brother. I wasn't planning on putting him in another book, but I'll have to keep that in mind if I do.
The characters didn't all come out exactly like the person they were inspired by, but they suit the story. Since the Raingolds are based on my family (with two little brothers), I can't help but think of The Experiment as being a story about me and my sisters and friends, though in the story we are all the ages we were three years ago. It has served to make the story mean more to me, imagining us in those circumstances.