When I organized the schedule for this quarter I had a slew of great topics to choose from thanks to the talented George. He came up with a page full, and this one really called out to me. Of course I slotted it for one of my weeks because after all, I could. ;-)
Six years ago, when I first moved back to Virginia, I joined the PTA at my daughter's pre-school and took a position on the board. There was this petite, curly-haired blonde woman running the whole she-bang, who I can honestly say I hated. Hate is a pretty strong word in my book and I wholeheartedly meant it in regards to her.
She drove me, and many other PTA board members and volunteers, insane that year. I honestly had to hold back from running her over with my car if I saw her in the parking lot - damn the onlookers! Her toddler holding her hand was the only thing to save her.
The anger and frustration I felt dealing with this woman has since left me gun-shy about getting involved in any PTA again. Oh, and I've been asked, bombarded and cajoled many, many times since that year. I have some friends involved this year with the public school and I am tempted, but I have to say no until I get healthy (and I'd have to convince Pete, which might sink my chances).
I took great pleasure in crafting my nemesis into an antagonistic role for the heroine in the second book in my series. Only one or two people who've read my book even know of my relationship with this domineering shrew of a woman, and so far, only my husband has read the beginning of the second book and saw the name I altered to fit this character. He laughed his ass off.
This is the same man who begged me to quit the PTA when he saw how distressed I was associating with this woman month in and month out. But I refused to let anyone force me out. I stuck out the whole year. I earned a bunch of money for the school as the fundraising chair and I politely refused to ever be a part of the PTA again, even when the woman never came back to the school with her kids the following years. She had made so many enemies I wouldn't have been surprised if the school asked her not to come back (keep in mind it's a private school, and not a state-run pre-school).
It was cathartic to get even with this woman in the pages of my book. Granted, it's been a while and I had pretty much let it all go (although, reading this it certainly doesn't sound that way), and I never exactly "get even" with her. But it's still nice to craft a character I dislike and model it after the only person I've hated in decades.
I was able to laugh while I thought up annoying dialogue lines for her. I was able to bring some of her arrogance and mannerisms from my memories into play. And I was able to move on. While the Coraline character in The Hunt may mean something entirely different to me as the author, I hope the readers enjoy her devilishly crafted part.
How about you? Have any of you killed off a character in one of your stories who remarkably resembled someone from your life?