Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Love The One You Kill

This week's question: Have you ever killed off a character you've loved?

Answer: Yes and no.

In the first two novels of my Clare Vengel detective series, I didn't feel much for anyone who died. Dead Politician Society was political satire; the victims were politicians who had virtually no page time until their corpses showed up in the news. In Death Plays Poker, victims were poker players whose morals had been corrupted long before the story opens. So while sure, each victim had some redeeming qualities, I didn't feel like their deaths were especially tragic.

But with Death's Last Run, I found myself more attached to the victim. The death that sparks the story is a girl in her twenties who is fighting her own revolution and has lost her way. In one sense, she's culpable in her own death, but I also see her as a brave and interesting person who could have given the world a lot had she lived.

So while I didn't love Sacha when I killed her, the process of exploring who she was and why she died led me to feel deep regret for her death by the time I'd finished writing the story. As a result, I think this third installment is much richer than the first two in the series.

Going forward, I think I'll love the ones I kill.

1 comment:

Catriona McPherson said...

Hah! I truly believed up until the end of this that you were going to say "so I won't do *that* again." Now I see you sitting in a huge armchair stroking a white cat as you plot the next death.