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  • Sam Darling

Danger of friending a writer

I’m writing fun new stories and my latest series has me anxious in a manner I haven’t felt for years. I have stage fright about writing these books. Isn’t that wild?! They sit exactly in the mental space that this calls to mind:

Life motto

These novels definitely have the potential to be a disaster. That’s okay. I’m in the midst of a writing frenzy and it’s great. I was already planning to focus more on writing before pandemic hit so I’m grateful that I have a creative outlet while we are all forced to shelter in place.

The new series draws from deep personal experience and it’s interesting how once in a while a completely fictional character will take on the characteristics of someone from my life. I had one excessively intelligent character that started to take on the qualities of one of my high school friends. I paused when I realized what I was doing — resurrecting a dead friend in the form of a character in my story — and I said hello.

It’s like this when you’re friends with a writer. We’re not stealing phrases or observed mannerisms, we’re more like bower birds preening and decorating our nests. Would-be mates our readers, we adorn our stories with every pretty bobble we find in the world. Sometimes, the pretty bobble is your charming lisp or the entertaining way you yell at traffic.

I’ve had the strange experience of seeing myself reflected in the stories of my writer friends and now I am recognizing my own friends (and some enemies) in the pages of my new books.

Anyway, as I’ve said before, if you wanted to show up in my books in a flattering light then you should have been nicer to me. This is the nerd’s revenge.


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