Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dead Politicians

Question: If you write it, will it come? Does life imitate fiction?

Answer: All the time. The strangest story of all is this:

When I wrote Dead Politician Society, I was angry at Toronto's political climate. I took my rage out on the page: I created fictional versions of politicians who bugged me and wrote them into my novel as corpses. [Legal note: I changed names, life history, gender, ethnicity--everything about the people themselves. Only their policy remained--and that's what I was murdering.]

The real life inspirations were all career politicians, in office for decades. DPS came out three years ago, and here's where they are now:

Victim #1 resigned from politics. [Side note: He's a great guy doing great environmental work now.]

Victim #2 was based on a couple; one is now dead and the other's career has lost its thunder. [Side note: I was very sad when I heard that he died. I think the loss of a great mind is a loss for us all, even if his political views were in direct opposition to mine.]

Victim #3 was involved in a scandal that nearly landed him in jail and did force his resignation.

Victim #4's political career ended in a surprise downturn after years of promising success.

Victim #5 recently resigned just before a scandal hit the press.

Politics are volatile, so I don't credit myself with any literary voodoo powers—and no, I won't write your ex-husband into my next novel for any amount of cash. But this kind of freaks me out, so I'm sticking with fictional victims going forward.


Susan C Shea said...

But isn't there more juice when your characters came from something personal and deeply felt? Annoyance, anger, lust, envy...think of them as perfectly acceptable tools in our business!

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Hmmm, please don't take it personally if I scoot away from you when we meet. :)