Monday, August 24, 2009
My Friend the Murderer
No, not a character in my latest book. She's a real life murderer. She drugged and stabbed her husband, then tried to kill herself. Got a friend like that? I hope not.
While I don't know her real well, for instance I've never been to her house, I did talk to her 3 to 4 times a week at the gym for over 10 years. We talked politics, we talked kids, we talked about her fabulous vacations. She loved going to exotic places in style.
She was a mortgage broker during the real estate boom and seemed to be doing well. I'd always see her in the gym with nice workout clothes, brand new shoes, and expensive jewelry on her wrist. Then of course there was all the plastic surgery. She had enormous silicone breasts, many face lifts, her lips done at least a few times, liposuction everywhere, and massive hair extensions. It seemed she could never look "good enough". Over the years I watched her do procedure after procedure, shaking my head a little each time. She wasn't a knockout, but all the work did help.
I never really thought about dating her, I was married at the time, and frankly, she wasn't my type. Although some of my friends would argue that female was my type, she had an attitude that didn't appeal to me. She used to tell me, "Well, you know Doug, I don't date guys that don't make at least 250K a year." No, I don't make that, and even if I did, her attitude was a problem anyway.
So why am I talking about her? Because I'm thinking of using her as a character in my next novel. I have some interesting stories that I could use, and I kind of know what drove her. It wouldn't be that hard to integrate her as a murderer, after all I could just use the truth.
I thought about writing her actual story, but I'm not sure I am a True Crime writer. I'd rather write what I like, which is fiction.
The problem is that I am not sure it won't change my story in a bad way. As I try to integrate some of the stories, I am worried that it might take the novel into a direction that I wouldn't be able go with an invented character.
I also think that while the stories are interesting to me, because I know her, they may seem plain to someone who doesn't.
In case you want to read about the real thing, check out this link.
While I don't expect that you will have friends who are murderers, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on whether you think she would hurt the story, or help it.