by Robin Spano
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.