I Want to Live in One of my Books

I’m tired of inhabiting real life, with all of its uncertainties and disappointments. Everything is so imprecise, unreliable and unpredictable: it even feels like electrical devices are opposing me—I had to click on a link to a website three times, to get it to open—stupid mouse!

If only I could step into one of my stories, where all is certain and sure to work. Even in my Cornish Detective novels, where my detectives seek to right the wrongs perpetrated by the criminals, I’m confident that they’ll unearth the necessary clues. They’re a damned sight cleverer than me, at working out how to solve a problem.

A fictional world is precise. It’s exactly four miles to the next town, not three-and-three-quarters, and if my copper needs to refuel his patrol car, there’ll be a free petrol pump, meaning he won’t have to join a queue of other frustrated motorists. This is actually a rare event in fictional worlds, for most imaginary cars never require fuel.

Fictional folk always know what to eat and drink, and it’s instantly available and delicious, with none of that tedious grocery shopping and preparation of ingredients.

Amazingly enough, my heroes and villains never need to bathe or fart or relieve themselves, entirely shunning toilets—unless it’s to meet a police snitch who’s got exactly the bit of information they need to capture their suspect.

Lovemaking that’s made up is usually stupendously orgasmic, or sometimes a total flop—heralding an immediate relationship breakup—there’s never any post-coital doubt, about whether a partner came or not (and do they really love me?). Should a couple split up, then, pretty soon, someone else more suitable comes along, someone they should have been with all along. There’s no period of searching bars and clubs, or joining online dating sites and sitting alone talking to themselves, while becoming expert in self-abuse that’s ultimately unsatisfying and which leaves them feeling more lonely than ever. 

My fictional characters sometimes reflect on past events, and it’s usually to recall a vital life lesson that helps them in their present dilemma. They don’t have to herd a troop of whooping mental monkeys back into their cage, from where they continue to fling insults that create self-doubt.

In fiction, buttons never fall off, zips never jam and keys never go missing. Everything is neat, clean and functional!

I’m not quite sure how to transform from an unknown author into a fictional character with legions of reader fans, but I’ll give it a go—trying to avoid paper cuts and scorching from Kindle hardware, as I shuffle from obscurity into immortality. Just think, I might be further metamorphosed—into a star of a Hollywood movie—when Tom Cruise buys the rights to my detective stories so he can carry on running around saving the world!

This thread started after I caught myself imagining a scene while writing my fifth Cornish Detective novel, The Dead Need Nobody. A killer is looking down upon a bay, where my protagonist detective is recovering a corpse hidden inside a concrete statue, that’s he’s hidden in plain sight at an underwater sculpture park visited by scuba divers. I saw the action through the killer’s eyes, from where he stood on the coastal path, then I started to picture how it would look like to the seagulls hovering nearby—which was a bit mad!

I shook myself back to reality, though, I must confess that I’m often away with the fairies.

I just had a horrible thought—if I entered one of my Cornish Detective novels, would I end up being murdered, or even arrested as a likely suspect by my protagonist? Eek, I’m haunting myself!

Who wants to be real, anyway?

Do any of you ever imagine yourself within your fictional worlds?

Are you one of the characters, or do you exist as a shade, a barely seen entity that shifts between your computer keyboard and the page?

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