What’s in your mind?

I read somewhere that Bram Stoker wrote “Dracula” due to his unhappy marriage. He was attempting to create a powerful romantic hero (or anti-hero) that was the opposite of his personality. Psychiatrists refer to this as “sublimation.”

For better or worse, writers sublimate aspects of their personality into their writing. Fantasies or delusions that would never see the light of day in the real world. Hopes and aspirations that seem unattainable. We can read all the books on craft, go to all the seminars and conferences that we can attend and we still wind up being intricate human and emotional creatures.

For the past six years or so, I have been writing more crime fiction and have dabbled extensively into Transgressive Fiction. And I know why. I have been in the customer service field for about thirty years, the last fourteen in a call center. These are perfect venues for the consumer to have a feeling of anonymous control over a representative or an entire company. This is a delusion. For all the venom that they exude, the company still maintains control and the representative has the power (but not the legal ability) to completely jack with their account.

Now, see, you got me started. You found out what’s in my mind. It got no better when I was terminated from my previous position after thirteen years over ONE customer service complaint. The sense of loss was profound; the sense of anger ran deeper. I set about writing a set of three Transgressive novellas, the likes of which were far darker than any other piece of crime fiction I had written or contemplated.

But, by doing so, I was able to release an awful lot of negative feeling and re-focus on what needed to happen in Real Life in order to survive. My wife, who is also my editor, recognized this but understood.

The pieces were published as collection on Lulu as Unemployed and Dangerous: A Trilogy of Transgressive Novellas. Recently, I made each of the individual works available as ebooks on Smashwords. They include:

The Ballad of Justin Thieme

There will always be the craft, the desire to revise and correct and perfect the Word. The plot and theme will come through because of attention to detail in the construction of the story. But beneath all of that, for better or for worse, there is me.

So, what’s in your mind?

{As an additional side note: I have been taking notes for the last ten months for a non-fiction piece about my termination and my dealings with the state regarding unemployment compensation (a success) and the union who would not escalate my case for arbitration. Thoughtful deliberation has guided me toward a non-fiction piece as it might be more publishable and would have a more striking effect than the Transgressive ramblings of a so-called “disgruntled employee.” As I progress, I will update.}


  1. Philip Gorman said,

    April 12, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Hugh, You must have pissed off someone “important” to get the boot after 13 yrs. I read non-fiction and will purchase your book if published.


    • tikiman1962 said,

      April 12, 2011 at 8:30 am

      I “pissed off” corporate America because I didn’t sell quite as much as they wanted me to; didn’t force products and services down the throats of each and every person that called in; and did not sublimate my identity under the cloak of a robotic clone.
      In essence I practiced good old-fashioned Customer Service (notice the capital letters) and that is NOT what Corporate America is about.
      And, yes, you WILL buy the book when it comes out.


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