From the desk of W. J. Onufer…
I’ve had people ask me if a character in my Tales of the Vampire Hadley Price books is based on them. Usually it’s someone who erroneously thinks they’re super-cool and worthy of having that much influence. I’m all about discretion so I don’t tell them that, no, that character isn’t based on knowing you. The creation of my characters are based on interesting people I’ve met or have heard about. That person asking me that wasn’t interesting. He was just loud. And in that loudness he was cliche, down right boring to me. Not at-all interesting.
And yes, my typing fingers have killed off characters who have personality traits of people who’ve wronged me. It’s true. If you’ve ever screwed over an author, a character who is like you, will meet their demise. To which I say- thank you very much. The times I could not avoid interacting with people like that provided me with examples of how truly awful people can be. They’ve helped me manifest evil in a way I couldn’t have without them. And there is a decidedly wicked pleasure is taking down truly awful people inspired characters.
And those egotistical super-cool wanna bes? I thank them also. Their cliche is funny as hell. The total cluelessness on how laughably un-original they are is hoot!
Kill people in the pages of my books if they’ve done me wrong? Absolutely. But more fun than that is fabricating situations and characters that mock people I’m acquainted with who are no-talent posers who act like they’re it on a stick and the arbiter of what is and isn’t cool. Those people are hilarious. Damn Funny. Is it any wonder that humor is a big part of my Tales of the Vampire Hadley Price books? And again I say- thank you very much.
But in this kind of thing, more times than not, I tend toward finding a way for a character to survive their deadly situation if that character’s creation is based- at least in part -on people who I’m quite fond of and have been nice to me. People who are interesting. People with intelligence and style and grit. People with proven strength. It’s kind of a switch-a-roo on the author fantasy killing of people they don’t like.
It’d be interesting to find out how many other writers also tend to favor a positive outcome for interesting, nice-to-me-people based characters over spending time pseudo-killing truly-awful-people based characters.