‘How much of your writing is real, Violet?’
‘I’m never quite sure what to believe, Violet.’
‘After your stories I expected you to be thinner, sexier and very intelligent. Violet.’
If my writing name was x, a woman of a certain age with great legs, a bit of a stomach and not a single bit of cellulite whatsoever, I would expect these questions.
But my name is Violet. And my surname is Online.
Violet Online is a character.
And like any character in any story, I’ve borrowed bits of her. I take a lot from my own life and I’ve borrowed a lot from my friends. I’ve borrowed from strangers, from strippers, from dog-walkers and lately, I’ve borrowed from hookers too. I’ve borrowed from dates I’ve eavesdropped on, from drunks who hang out on my pavement and I’ve most importantly, borrowed from books. And porn. And movies. And you.
There’s a lot of borrowing.
We get inspired by others, by their words, their art, their experiences. Other people help us to be imaginative. Sometimes even, to be something else.
‘Not really, Violet. I am still not sure who you are?’
Dear sweet goddesses, help me.
This woman did not let up.
How about it’s none of your fucking business, I said.
Then I shot her, carved her up into little pieces and kept her in my freezer.
My freezer wasn’t big enough.
I used my neighbour’s freezer too.
The thing about writing is that it can be a little bit real and a little bit not. It’s about imagination which has to come from somewhere. It is, unless you’re brilliant enough to write The Hobbit or Star Wars, all bits and pieces of life and the world and food and thunderstorms and dinners and friends and lovers and sex and champagne and stuff and love and all things mixed up and jumbled together, hopefully in some kind of fabulous reading order.
Writing is escape . Writing allows you to be anything. Create anything.
And imagine anything.
Including cutting, carving and cooking some of your readers.
N.B I really don’t have cellulite. But my freezer is full of body parts.