Melodie got her start writing comedy. In 1999, she opened the Canadian Humour Conference. She has over 200 publications including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories, and has won 9 awards for short fiction. Her fifth novel, a mob caper, is entitled The Goddaughter's Revenge (Orca Books). Melodie was a finalist for the 2012 Derringer, and both the 2012 and 2013 Arthur Ellis Awards. She is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada. Catch Melodie's humour column for The Sage, Canada's magazine of satire and opinion.
Here’s some news for all you sociopaths out there, and just plain nasties: Don’t mess with a crime writer. We know at least twenty ways to kill you and not get caught.
On paper, of course <insert nervous laughter>. We’re talking about fictional kills here.
Or are we?
My name is Melodie Campbell, and I write comic mob capers for a living. And for the loving. So I know a bit about the mob. Like espresso and cannoli, you might say they come with my Sicilian background.
This should make people nervous. (Hell, it makes ME nervous.)
But I digress. To recap: the question offered here was:
Do you ever take out real life rage on fictional murder victims? Are any of your victims based on people who pissed you off in real life?
Oh sweetie, don’t I ever.
One of the joys of being a writer is playing out scenarios in your fiction that you dream about at night. One of these is murder. (The other is sex, but that would be my other series, the Rowena fantasy one.)
Back to grievous bodily harm. Like in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado, I have my little list.
To the covert colleague who made out to be friends and then bad-mouthed me to the board at a previous job. Yes, you got caught red-handed. I called your bluff. But better than that, I made your mealy-mouthed sorry hide a star of The Goddaughter's Revenge. Good bye, Carmine the rat. You live forever in fictional history.
He never will be missed.
To the sociopathic boss who undermined an entire department and got a kick out of making my sweet younger colleagues cry: may you age like a hag and end up alone. Oh wait – you did. And not just in A Purse To Die For.
She never will be missed.
Oh, the joy of creating bad guys and gals from real-life creeps! The crafty thing is, when you design a villain based on people you have met in person and experienced in technicolor, they sound real. Colourful. Their motivations are believable, because they actually exist. No cardboard characters here!
Of course, I may fudge a few details to keep out of jail. Names and professions change. Males can morph into females.
But fictional murder can be very satisfying. (Definitely more satisfying than fictional sex.) Revenge is sweet, when coupled with royalties.
You can ignore that crack about fictional kills only. Of course we’re only talking books; in my case, light-hearted murder mysteries, and mob crime capers.
That’s right: mob capers. Like I said: never mess with a Sicilian Goddaughter.
Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best this year when Library Journal compared her to Janet Evanovich. Her fifth novel, The Goddughter's Revenge, has just been released by Orca Books.