Thursday, December 15, 2016

Why so many of my stories feature corporate characters

A reader recently remarked in an email that my stories are populated by an atypical number of corporate cubicle dwellers. 

Guilty as charged on this point. Termination Man is a corporate thriller, set in the automotive industry. Our House is a psychological thriller set in the suburbs. But the novel's main subplot involves the protagonist's workplace, and a particularly nasty form of sexual harassment. 

Even some of my horror tales ("The Vampires of Wallachia" comes immediately to mind) deal with corporate hierarchies and office politics. 

I like to think of this as a feature rather than a bug. Many novelists have spent their working lives immersed only in literature. This is why you read a lot of novels about writers and English professors. But most readers aren't writers or literature profs. Most readers work in accounting departments, on sales teams, or on the purchasing staff of various corporate entities, both large and small.

I spent 20+ years in the automotive industry, working for (and with) several well-known automakers. I suppose it's only natural that corporate settings should be a big part of my fiction.