From the desk of W. J. Onufer…
Gather around my friends as I tell you the tale of how this author (me) hit the wall of the Peter Priciple…
One of the promotional vehicles I have in place to get the word out on my Tales of the Vampire Hadley Price books is the Tales of the Vampire Hadley Price Narrated Short Story Collection on my Mixcloud page.
It’s been up for about a year and a half now and only within the last few days have I noticed something there that brought my attention to a classic case of the Peter Principle.
What’s the Peter Principle? It’s the name of the classic business/sociology book by Dr. Laurence Peter published in 1970. The Peter Principle says that “people in a hierarchy tend to rise to their level of incompetence.” So, in any given situation, just because you’re good at one in that, doesn’t mean that you’ll be good at everything in that situation. Yes…yes…I know, I’m over simplify the Peter Principle and kind of imposing my interpretation on that. But just follow me on this.
I write the Tales of the Vampire Hadley Price books. The three main characters are- the Vampire Hadley Price, her monogamous lover the Vampire Nathan Hughes and their daughter, the young Vampire Svetlana Magnovska. Svetlana speaks English with a Russian accent. And it is precisely because of how Svetlana speaks that I hit the wall of the Peter Principle.
As a break between writing Hadley full-length novels, I’ve been writing Hadley short stories. The tentitive plan is to release those in a compilation book of those short stories sometime next year. Currently, and, as I’ve mentioned, some (not all) those are posted as a FREE audio narration on the Tales of the Vampire Hadley Price Short Story Collection on Mixcloud.
Hadley Price is always the central figure but in the short stories she is not always the featured character. In other words, all the action relates directed to Hadley, even know in some of those short stories she may not always up front and present.
I mention that because Svetlana is in a few of those Hadley short stories. In two of them, she is the featured character. I love writing Svetlana, the young Vampire who’s still kind of new to it all who is mentored by Hadley Price, the powerful Vampire known as the Guardian Angel. It’s a lot fun to write them and Nathan and how, sometimes Svetlana needs help to speak English correctly. And at the risk of tooting my own horn, I’m getting kind of good at doing that.
Here it the point where I hit the Peter Principle wall.
In farting around in the prep-work to post The Protected Human, the next addition to the Tales of the Vampire Hadley Price Short Story Collection, I went to my Mixcloud page. For some reason, I noticed something that I just didn’t see before- none of those narrated stories had Svetlana in them- even know I’ve written Hadley short stories that feature her. Most of that audio is Hadley and Nathan. There is nothing posted there where Svetlana shows up.
There’s a very good reason for that. I have risen to the level of my incompetence.
I do all the narration for the Tales of The Vampire Hadley Price Narrated Short Story Collection myself. I’m hardly a professional voice actor. But I’ve gotten to a point where I can fake Hadley and Nathan’s way of talking.
But try as I might, I simply can not narrate in Svetlana’s Russian accent. Or at least one that semi-believable. And certainly not one of a Vampire who looks like a twenty-year-old Human young woman. And that, while I’m the one directly responsible for writing her that way. All trys at that were aweful. If I posted me doing Svetlana talking I would just embarrass myself and take a huge hit on Hadley’s franchise by coming off so amateurish. Once I noticed that- and how could I not, it was really damn obvious -I made the decision to not post anything with Svetlana in it on Mixcloud. She only appears in Hadley’s books.
So I’m an expert when it comes to knowing these characters. I writing them with a voice of authority. I’m kind of getting good at it. After doing that for so many years I have no excuse for not getting better at it. I created the Hadley-verse and I’m quite comfortable there. In this end of the situation, I’m fairly competent.
But none of that prepared me for trying speak like Svetlana.
Pow! Busted! Textbook perfect example of the Peter Principle.
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A FREE listen to the Tales of the Vampire Hadley Price Narrated Short Story Collection here-
Get your copies of Tales of the Vampire Hadley Price books here-