Actually, I doubt an author can avoid putting something of himself or herself in a story. Usually, it's limited to the author's "voice", the unique style, pacing and verbiage that fingerprint a story. That's the part that's all me.
How much of the STORY is true? Not much.
Adultery -totally fiction.
Bobbi- not totally fiction. She has more of me in her than any character I've written. That may be because she was my first major character. We have similar thought processes, and similar flaws. I've gone through some of the same faith crises. But she's not me.
Gavin- not totally fiction. He is modeled heavily on my husband. In fact, on a couple of occasions, I gave him the situation and took his answers and turned them into Gavin's dialogue. Made my job easier.
A good friend has two sons who were Brad's & Joel's ages when I started working on the book, so they served as guides for developing the boys' characters.
Is it still REAL?
I hope so. And by "real", I mean realistic, genuine, believable. As I filled in the backstory for the characters, (most of which never made it into the book) they began to be less figments of my imagination and much more "real".
I hope you identify with Bobbi as she struggles to forgive. I hope you sympathize with Chuck's struggle to make things right. And I hope you come away wanting to know how Bobbi and Chuck are doing a few years down the road.