It’s a wild and stormy day out – freezing rain, winds howling, occasional smatterings of snow. It’s a perfect day for plotting a closed room mystery set in the north of Scotland or on some maritime shores.
One of the very best things about writing is how you can vent your rage at people in a totally harmless way by writing about them. I’m lucky. There’s only been about three people in my life that I’ve wanted to wreak revenge on, and chances are they are being killed or punished in various iterations in all of my stories. It’s wonderfully cathartic, and certainly safe from prosecution.
Mind you, there’s an author in the states, LIsa Gardner, who offers to work the names of people you want maimed into her stories.While I think her “Kill a Friend, Maim a Mate” sweepstakes is a worthy promotional tool, I think that may be going a bit far. I prefer to hide identities, using different names, changing characteristics, locations, hiding them in plain sight. And then putting them through hell.
I hasten to add that I, like so many mystery writers, am a nice person. I maintain we are like rugby players – we exhaust our hostility through out sport and so therefore are totally sweet off the field.
But that doesn’t mean that my mind isn’t playing with dastardly deeds while we’re chatting…
PS: I came across Lisa Gardner’s books at a weekend for MS in Jackson, NH. She generously donated bundles of her books to the attendees.