Honey, it ain’t all about you or why everyone thinks I’m writing about them …

Before you get published you may spend a lot of time worrying that people in your life will think you are writing about them. Since publishing my novel, and a number of personal experience essays, I can give you one piece of advice – stop worrying - because everyone thinks you’re writing about them … all the time … your friends, your family, and the husband of a former colleague who made you Black Pudding once (we’ll get back to him).

I’ve already told you about my childhood friend Sandy who phoned me in a tiff one day after reading an early draft of Dead Frog on the Porch and claimed that she was one character and the other character was me and my character was picking on her character. My response: please refer back to the title of this blog post … Honey, it ain’t all about you.

Then there was my other childhood friend Jane who’s frog I accidently killed (the original dead frog on the porch) and I recounted the story of going to visit her and discovering that her house was a shrine to her dead frog. Parts of the story are set in the neighbourhood we grew up in, and parts of the story are in her house, and parts aren’t. Is she a character? Is Sandy a character? Am I a character? … if I tell you that, who the heck will read my yet to be written and published memoirs?!

So that leads me to the story of Bill Kidd (true name, I can’t make this stuff up), or Billy the Kidd, as I, and others equally witty, have called him over the years. He’s the husband of a friend and former colleague, and he happened to be in the pub when we were brainstorming the plot of my second novel Dead Bird through the Cat Door. Since then Bill has claimed that he is one of the culprits in my story – Aviary Finch. Aviary is the owner of the bird sanctuary and he is killing birds (I know, right!?). Bill even refers to it as the book with his character.

Yes, he gave me some ideas. Yes, we were drinking pints of some sort of fermented Scottish beverage. Yes, like the culprit Bill is Scottish. Bill supplied me with all sorts of ideas of evil things the character can threaten the protags with – like Black Pudding, and pot pie cooked with baby birds. Then he invited me to his house and proceeded to cook me all sorts of Scottish delicacies like haggis and Black Pudding, and made me eat them (the suffering for my art never ends – but it was good research). And I’m all “where’s the deep fried Mars Bar?”

Is Bill, a mild mannered engineer by day, an evil/crazy antag by fictional illusion? Is Bill the character of Aviary Finch? Is Aviary Finch based on Bill? You’ll have to tune into this bat channel in the fall, when the book is published, to find out.

Hey Bill, why all the bird seed in your pocket …?


Annie said…
You know - I know Bill Kidd. And it woulnd't surprise me if he moprhed into an evil aviacidal maniac when folks aren't watching. I mean - do we REALLY know what he's doing when he's out of town? And could he be the brains behind the syncrude duckocide? things to ponder...

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