I’ve said that people just passing through a hotel hosting a writers’ convention must be frequently alarmed. For example, I was sitting in the hall at my last such conference and overheard someone pleading for ideas on how to dispose of a body. “I tried burying it, but that didn’t work,” he said, “and I’ve thought about acid in a tub but it didn’t seem likely to clean up well. Can you help?”
I wonder if anyone has ever called police after accidentally eavesdropping at a writers’ event?
Writers get Revenge
“I will eviscerate you in fiction,” Chaucer warns the Summoner and Pardoner in the delightfully anachronistic film A Knight’s Tale, and yeah, it’s true. Writers are like that.
I don’t base characters on real people, but I will occasionally borrow attributes or events. That skeevy corporate slug who lied to legions of rabid fans and falsified the amount of fan mail to justify canceling a beloved show so he could put in another project? He was a donor toward the birth of the power-suited corporate shrew in Con Job. The woman who stole my mother’s tiny diamond given to her by my father? She gets her comeuppance in a short story. The woman who asked for free product and who, when turned down, spread the word the business had closed in order to kill the owner’s income as punishment? Oh, I could never invent something that crazy! That’s going in Bethia’s (Shard & Shield) character file.
Oddly, I don’t usually write about people or events which offended me personally, more often about what’s happened to people I know. But, never say never.
Writers get Scary
As I mentioned, all this killing and tormenting of imaginary people can sound a little odd from the outside. Eavesdrop at your own risk.
My writer friend Stephanie texted me yesterday, asking some gun questions and about self-defense info for her heroine. I answered, and we continued exchanging texts. After a bit my husband glanced down at my phone, just in time to see a lot of gun chatter and that “the bad guys got away but she will press charges.”
“What happened?” He’s the kind of guy who would be in the car instantly to provide moral support and physical backup against any remaining assailants.
“Fiction! It’s fiction. Don’t panic.”
Annoyed eyeballs. “Fine.”
Life tip: Always verify with writers before actually dialing Emergency Services.