In the middle of book 2 there’s a scene where my characters are sitting round a table and the villain of the piece, a PR guru, almost reduces them to tears. (OK, my villains aren’t exactly super-evil.)
So there I am last week, sitting round the table and next to me is a PR guru who looks disconcertingly like my villain (I made him very good looking) and he is being absolutely ADORABLE and CHARMING about Threads and I LOVE this man.
Listening to him and his amazing colleagues chat about the designers they know, the shows they’ve been to, the fashion events they’ve been a part of, I realise that it’s not only me who has an amazing job. I think they’re expecting me to be equally chic and blase (that should be blah-say but I don’t know how to do accents on WYSIWYG) about the fashion world and they’re a bit taken aback when I bounce up and down in my seat like a schoolgirl every time an iconic name is casually mentioned.
But I am not chic. I am not blase (blah-say). I may write about girls who get to meet my heroes, but I spend most of my life in libraries or clutching babywipes and I get VERY EXCITED when I hear about those heroes and realise I’m sitting two feet away from someone who’s met them often and knows their children.
On the way out, I ask my new BFFs if they could possibly bear to read book 2 for me and check it’s vaguely on track about the world of high street fashion. They graciously agree. Only when I hit the street do I remember about my villanous PR.
What do I do? Do I say anything? Do I make him less good looking? Do I change his (remarkably on the button, had I only known) wardrobe, to foil suspicion?
I haven’t decided yet. I’m only grateful that I hadn’t met ‘my publicists’ before I made up my villain, or I couldn’t have brought myself to create him, and that might have made for a rather saggy middle section.
Meanwhile, I’m grateful that the only real villains of Threads are a bunch of schoolgirls, and it’s not as if I’m going to meet lots of them during the … oh wait. Drat. The ramifications of villain creation in the life of the well-meaning novelist are greater than I could have imagined. Watch out for the super-evil inter-galactic fashion alien in book 3.
It’s the only way to play it safe.