Weapons of Choice
I just switched cable companies, and am saving enough money on my monthly bill to subscribe to HBO again. I haven’t had HBO for several years and was woefully behind on Game of Thrones. Now I’m bingeing on season four, which as you may know, contains a lot of defining moments. My favorite by far is the death of King Joffrey at his wedding.
As TV deaths go, it was pretty satisfying. Not perfect, mind you. I would have made it bloodier, more painful, and longer. Let’s face it, the little shit had it coming. Still, it was good enough to get me thinking about how I kill characters in my books.
A Cup of Pending features an ice-pick-wielding Colombian cartel assassin called El Colmillo, Spanish for ‘the fang.’ The ice pick is his preferred weapon and his signature process. El Colmillo never explains this preference, so I think maybe I should.
I like the ice pick as a weapon because it is easy to come by, easy to dispose of, very effective, and cheap. I saw a TV show about the weapons of assassins once that compared the ice pick favorably to a garrote. For some reason that stuck with me, and when I needed a frightening combination of skills and possibilities to give El Colmillo a sinister reputation, the ice pick seemed a natural choice. Apparently, I was not alone in my thinking as the NY Times has reported that the ice pick has seen something of a resurgence in popularity among gangland killers.
In Speedster, bad guy Mateo Quinones is done in by a woman with a shotgun. This death is surprising to Mateo, if not particularly creative otherwise. Mateo himself takes out quite a few players along the way before he meets his own demise, some of them, even though they have been described by my reviewers as ‘whiny bitches,’ were actually quite popular with my readers before they departed. I may have to do a prequel or several to satisfy the demand for more screen time. We’ll see.
I’m not really crazy, but it would prolly be in your best interests to exercise some caution in my general vicinity. I am a writer, after all!
I think about killing a lot. Too much probably, but I see it as my job. My bleary, nighttime imaginings are full of death and mayhem visited on people I don’t like very much. Scary prospect, isn’t it? Knowing that I have a list that I update with some regularity. Knowing that I’m always looking for new ways to get away with it. It’s only a small comfort that my principal focus is using the crimes in a story.
For the first time in my life, I have guns in the house. They’re not mine, but they are functional. I also have an ice pick, although I’d have to ask my wife where it is if I had need of it. Just saying, before you come over, you might want to call first and check out my mood. Then, once you get here, try to get a feel for where the weaponry is stowed. Better safe than sorry, right?