Some readers have been asking questions, such as, "Are parts of Thinks Out Loud real? Are the bloggers in the book based on actual bloggers? Is there really a start-up like AltaSystemics where a crafty CEO is out to amass vast power and control over society? Is there really an island in the South Pacific like Tiaré (Flower) where the islanders strive to maintain their way of life against the onslaught of modernity?
Authors tend to pull back from answering such questions. We like to say, "It's fiction. It's all imagined. If the people and places feel 'real,' then we have succeeded to some degree in our story-telling ways." In addition, I would add that all of a writer's experiences, internal and external, are fair game for import and transition/translation/transcendence into a work of fiction.
The key to it all is imagination (plus some rewriting and editing).