Cheaper than Therapy, but Loads More Fun!
Thanks, Delilah, for letting me hang out at your place!
Don’t know about you, but books have always been my friends – a solace and a refuge when Real Life was bleak. But it wasn’t until I started writing that I realized that fiction was cheaper than therapy – not to mention a helluva lot more fun. *grin*
To illustrate… Many years ago, when I was a baby writer taking my first tentative steps onto the page, I met a Very Senior Manager (from another section) at a work function. Very Senior Manager was good at his job and respected for his ability and ruthlessness. He was also on the short side and suffered from one good lunch too many, so he resembled a well-groomed toad in a business suit. I recall that his tie was an odd green/yellow colour.
We were chatting politely, as one does, when I noticed that he wasn’t looking at my face, but at my chest. He appeared to be counting – one…and ah, yes, there’s the other one. Yay, two!
I guess I’m naïve, but I tend to take people as I find them. I glanced down, expecting to see that a button had popped or that I’d dropped a blob of chocolate cake on my front. Nope, all buttoned up and pristine.
Very Senior Manager met my startled gaze and smirked. He didn’t say a word, he didn’t need to, the creep! In fact, I think he was looking forward to blandly denying any assertion I made.
Fuming, I excused myself and made sure I was surrounded by others for the rest of the event.
I seethed over that incident for months. I’m perfectly well aware that on the harassment scale, it was a flea bite, and that I hadn’t been injured or even threatened. He didn’t belong to my part of the organization, so he had no direct power over me. But, oh my goodness, I was sooo incensed – especially when I discovered that he only played this trick on subordinate women. I think it was the nasty smirk that really did me in, knowing how much he’d enjoyed my discomfiture. I’d say it was adolescent, but that gives decent teenagers a bad name.
What did I do? I wrote Very Senior Manager into my first manuscript (it still lives in the sock drawer). Unlike my place of employment, that book was a place where I had complete control, where I was the puppet mistress and the deity all rolled into one. I didn’t make him the villain, oh no, I made him the villain’s inept sidekick. The character was fat, complacent and clammy-handed. He was also stupid, cowardly and came to a Very Bad End.
That’s right, I killed him off and it was wonderful! From the moment I typed the last word in that scene, all my fury and frustration just…evaporated. Pfft! Gone! It was amazing how different I felt.
Since that day, I’ve loved living through and with my characters. The good guys are infinitely more resourceful, braver and stronger than I’ll ever be – and so much sexier and better looking! The bad guys all come (eventually) to horrible ends. Ah, I love the fantasy that is a good romance!
In The Dark Rose, the fourth in the Four-Sided Pentacle series, we have a heroine so exquisitely lovely Very Senior Manager would have slobbered all over her, but Rose is as devious as she is beautiful. She would have made him pay, I know it!