Let’s face it, high school is hell. Continuing on the topic of how inspiration from our youth still shapes the fiction we write today, I’m going to talk about payback.
My high school experience was less than ideal. Some jerkwad in a letterman’s jacket nicknamed me Mega Moo and it stuck. I used to come home from school and tearfully dream up ways to get back at kids who made my life hell for three years. One of the things I love about the movie HEATHERS (besides the awesome one-liners) is their exploitation of high school revenge. Come on, haven’t we all thought it?
The beauty of being an author is I can take my retribution in a socially sanctioned, hugely satisfying way. I get to create worlds where the outcasts rise above, and the petty populars get what they deserve. And while my protagonists are largely fiction, all of the less-than-nice characters that torment them are very personal. That’s right people, I’ve been keeping a list.
· The jock in high school that called me Mega Moo
· The mean girls who invited me to their sixth grade slumber party so they could torture me with pranks all night.
· The pity date my HS BFF’s BF brought along for me, who referred to me as ugly.
· The boy in college who called me to “confess” his feelings while his whole dorm floor listened in on the joke via speakerphone.
· College boy’s evil roommate who called me pretending to be suicidal while his whole dorm floor listened in on the joke via speakerphone. (Yes this prank went on for a while in various forms.)
· The biotch manager who made my life a living hell all the while acting like her doo doo didn’t stink.
· Biotch manager number two (what is it with women managers?)
· The instructor who belittled me in front of a room full of people.
· Recent additions that may or may not be related to the writing industry.
I’m not attempting a complete character assassination. I don’t want to be sued or blackballed. And it’s not necessary. A trait or mannerism, a name, a description—like voodoo I incorporate an element of the person who’s wronged me into the character. It symbolic and cathartic.
For me, reading DEAR BULLY has reinforced how we tend to carry our tormentors around with us and the importance of letting go. With the release of THE HALO CHRONICLES: THE GUARDIAN I’ve been able to cross a couple of people off my list. Some may call it revenge, but I call it therapy.
Corn nuts, anyone?
Now it's your turn: How do you let go of those who've tormented you?
Carey Corp lives in the greater Cincinnati area with her loveable yet out-of-control family. She wrote her first book, a brilliant retelling of Star Wars, at the prodigious age of seven. Since then, her love affair of reinvention has continued to run amuck. Writing both literary fiction and stories for young adults, she begins each morning consuming copious amounts of coffee while weaving stories that capture her exhaustive imagination. She harbors a voracious passion (in no constant order) for mohawks, Italy, musical theater, chocolate, and Jane Austen.
Carey’s debut novel for teens, The Halo Chronicles: The Guardian, was a 2010 RWA Golden Heart finalist for best young adult fiction. It is available in print and eBook. She blogs, tweets, and “friends.”
For more information, visit her at careycorp.com.