Are we supposed to like Bonnie Quinn?
You’ve really gotten to the heart of it with that question. The guiding theme for me in this novel was that of redemption. Mainly for Hardwick, the paparazzo, but for Bonnie, too. His drive is to tear down PR facades to prove that things are not always as they appear. I wanted to balance the equation by applying that to so-called bad people, too. Bonnie is an extreme character with a lot to gasp at.
But when the story is told, guess what? Insight. Like her? Up to you. Understand her? That’s my job. Readers I trust are pleasantly surprised that I didn’t paint Bonnie with Cruella DeVille’s brush. She’s bad enough to be delicious; why kill that by making her a cartoon?
How are you similar and different from the main character of this novel?
Let me try to back into this answer. I chose to write The Trigger Episode in the first person because I felt it would help a reader empathize with a guy doing basically despicable work as a paparazzo. The unexpected consequence of that was writing all those I-me-mys. Of course I am not Hardwick but the voice of the book made me identify more with him, too.
So what seeped into (and out of) the writing was a sense of my own flaws. Not necessarily the same flaws as Hardwick’s but my response to them. How I rationalize them. Or deny them. Or act-out because of them. Hardwick is something, I’ll never be, the conflicted noir man of action, but I think I may have the conflicted part pretty much down
Stay tuned for part two in about two weeks