I think the better question would be whether they feel pain when I suffer.
And I do.
Oh, how I suffer.
A centipede of late nights tramples down my waking days into a murk-bubbled swamp. The fuel of my imagination – oh, chocolate, sweet chocolate – harries the waistline of my poor innocent Levis. So much inane trivia have I accumulated to better fill out and realize my characters’ fictional lives that my brain now resembles a plastic pie piece cut in six.
Where is their sympathy, I ask you, when I’ve painted them into a corner? Are they satisfied lounging there at the intersection of perpendicular walls and fresh Sherwin-Williams? No. They expect me to somehow port them into the next room, as if the fact that I built this room assumed ample enough skill to carry them thither. Is an architect automatically qualified to be a navigator? Of course not. Do my characters care? Ha.
And how about the many times they’ve needed me to describe them? Such narcissists they are! And you better believe it’s not satisfactory to these demanding figments that I simply copy and paste a previously perfect adjectival phrase (even if their appearance hasn’t changed one bit). “Her hair was brown,” which apparently was good enough for Page 4, isn’t nearly good enough for Page 44 when her hair now has to be “chestnut” or “mahogany” or, God help me, “ecru.”
Where is their sympathy then?
Plus – PLUS – there are the very names themselves! I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve named a character Bill or Jack only to have my prose grind to a halt and why? Why? Because the character doesn’t want to be called “Bill” or “Jack” Nooo, the character would rather be called “Ophelio.”
For all this suffering, will they allow me to cry on their shoulders? No, sir. No, ma’am. Do I feel pain when they suffer? Please. They should count their blessings that I’m such a softie.
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s late and I need to go fuel up on brownies so I can finish the scene where Ophelio gets dismembered. Ciao!
Still here? Good. Because I've got excellent news to report. Our own Meredith Cole has a new novel coming out this week. It is entitled Dead in the Water, the sequel to her Agatha-nominated 2009 mystery Posed for Murder, and here is its back cover hook:
Photographer Lydia McKenzie is taking portraits of prostitutes on the waterfront of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, when her art project takes a deadly turn. She discovers the body of Glenda, the star of her series, floating in the East River.
Lydia’s new boyfriend doesn’t want her to get involved in the investigation, and neither does NYPD detective Daniel Romero. But Glenda’s grieving mother begs her for help. So when the D’Angelo brothers, her bosses at the detective agency where she works as an administrative assistant, send Lydia out to the Williamsburg waterfront to catch their cousin’s cheating husband and bring back photos as evidence, she starts to do some sleuthing on the side.
When more hookers are murdered, Lydia teams up with a volunteer organization whose mission is to help women find a way off the streets. As she becomes more involved with the group, Lydia ends up questioning her choices, her relationships, her art, and her identity---all while she runs for her life from a killer who isn’t finished with a deadly rampage.
Intrigued? I know I am. So what are you waiting for, dudette? Go buy it!