My Future Victims

Back in my sorority days, you could be sure that someone would introduce a new pledge sister with the damning faint praise of "she’s really sweet and she makes her own clothes." None of that here, folks. Our guest blogger today is gorgeous … she’s smart … she’s great to party with … and she writes some of the most exciting thrillers around today. Please welcome guest blogger, Michelle Gagnon.      

Louise Ure


     I had a startling realization as I began writing my fourth crime novel last week. Part of the process (and one of my favorite parts, to be honest) is naming the cast of characters who will be subjected to all sorts of terrible trials and tribulations. And I was suddenly struck by a startling fact: I was fresh out of victim names. Yes, just four books into my career, I’ve already managed to disembowel, strangle, stab, shoot, and otherwise maim (in effigy, of course) every single one of the people who tormented me in junior high school, in addition to a number of poorly-behaved former boyfriends. Hard to believe, I know. And trust me, it speaks volumes about the body count in those first three books. Not a short list.

So I’m on the hunt for fresh victims. Fortunately, I seem to encounter a variety of people over the course of my everyday life whose crimes, though generally minor, certainly merit punishment.

Here they are, in no particular order:

•    Mandy, the cute twenty-something Kiehl’s store clerk who last week responded to my request for help finding a particular moisturizer with the following gem: “You know, you should really switch to the Abyssine one. It’ll work wonders on those forehead lines.” Oh, Mandy, I have a special punishment reserved for you…I’m thinking flesh-eating virus, but it’s still up in the air.

•    Gina, the mother from my baby group who for some reason feels compelled to forward articles with titles like, “Don’t Have a Time Out, Have a Time In!!!” (note the extensive exclamation points, a trademark of Gina’s missives), and “Television, or why allowing your child to watch a single minute of it makes you a bad parent.” This is a petty one, but trust me, the inherently judgmental tone of those emails combined with their frequency have driven me to this point. Mind you, as I write this my daughter is gazing blankly at the “Happy Feet” penguins for hours on end. Kidding. A little. And rest assured, Gina will meet a mercifully quick and relatively painless demise.

•    Officer Dunwitty (I’m not making that up,) the meter maid who, although I ran outside to move it AS SHE WAS PULLING UP BEHIND MY CAR, still gave me a $60 ticket. Just doing her job, I know. And I don’t care. This one will be grisly.

•    The guy who stole my gym parking spot last week after I waited ten minutes for the previous occupant to make a cell phone call and apply a layer of makeup in her rearview-mirror. I don’t have a name, but the physical description of said forty-something balding male will be scathingly accurate. For him I’m thinking choked, drowned, and stabbed for good measure.

•    Martha, the loans collection representative who persists in calling our house at all hours demanding payment for a medical visit to a doctor I’ve never heard of, despite the fact that I’ve offered to take a blood oath swearing that my name is not, and never has been, Foula Vasiligiorus (a made-up name if ever there was one; get a clue, Martha.) While I admire Martha’s dedication to her job, she really needs to work on her interpersonal skills. For that, she will be drawn and quartered. Martha, if you had only listened to me, we could have avoided all this ugliness.

So here’s your chance. Who would you like to kill off? (Fictionally, of course. Please do not name me as an instigator for any real life nefarious doings.) Bonus points (and a signed first edition of Boneyard) for the most innovative manner of death…

And as always, go to to enter drawings for an Amazon Kindle, iPod Shuffle, Amazon & Starbucks gift cards, copies of my thrillers, and other fabulous prizes.


is a former modern dancer, bartender, dog walker, model, personal
trainer, and Russian supper club performer. Her debut thriller THE
TUNNELS involves a series of ritualized murders in the abandoned tunnel
system beneath a university. Published in the United States and
Australia, it was an IMBA bestseller. Her next book, BONEYARD, depicts
a cat and mouse game between dueling serial killers. In her spare time
she fights Komodo dragons and broods.

29 thoughts on “My Future Victims

  1. JDRhoades

    Welcome, Michelle!

    I often tell people they better be nice to me or they’ll end up in a book. But it may not be as a body…it may be as something mortally embarrassing.

  2. Alexandra Sokoloff

    So great to see your lovely face, here (and in person tomorrow!)

    I just took great pleasure in killing off a producer I had the misfortune to work with. Beat his brains out with a Golden Globe. One of the most satisfying things I – I mean my character – ‘ve ever done.

    I’m sure no one else will weep for him, either.

  3. louise ure

    I was delighted to turn a greasy, smug, time-wasting local pharmacist into a bad guy. Ah, the sweet smell of revenge.

    Thanks for joining us today, Michelle.

  4. Pari Noskin Taichert

    Michelle,Wonderful to have you here at Murderati.

    I turned a horrid, self-centered and imcompetent boss into a c/y/a, below code business. It was very satisfying.

    Dusty, I tell people exactly the same thing you do!

  5. JT Ellison

    Hi Michelle!!! (Note the excessive exclamation points in your honor!!!)

    Funny, here I sit in my Careful, or You’ll End Up In My Novel T-shirt…

    I’ve never killed off or maimed someone I’ve met or dated. Sounds like I’m the only one. : ) I just make them up as I go. That’s not to say I haven’t met people I’d LIKE to kill or maim, but I have a tendency to forgive and FORGET THEM! That’s the worst punishment I can mete out, to be forever banished from my world, revisited with a shake of the head every once in a while. And trust me, there’s a few of those.

  6. R.J. Mangahas

    Welcome to Murderati, Michelle. By the way, just finished THE BONEYARD. Yes, I’ll be sure to stay on your good side.

    I think the person I’d “take care of” is this guy Ray who owns a print center. He hired me, then halfway through my first shift, he decided that I wasn’t “working out.” So he fired me. No explanation. He felt that he didn’t owe me one. And the whole time I was there, he was standing over my shoulder, telling me I’m doing everything wrong.

    So one day, Ray is trying to laminate a poster in the large roller laminating machine. Uh oh, he gets his tie caught between the two rollers!! It pulls him in, choking the life out of him, making his beady little eyes bulge in fear. Not very creative, I know, but very fitting.

    Dusty and Pari — You guys are nice. I usually wouldn’t give a heads up >:)

  7. Michelle Gagnon

    I like the death-by-roller scenario. And JT, sounds like you take the high road- oh, would that I weren’t so petty. Ah well. I’m working on a new list now, it includes the guy at Dell who sold me my laptop, with a screen so reflective that in a room with even a hint of sunlight you can’t see a damn thing on it. Ugh.

  8. Becky LeJeune

    I think I would have to kill off two of my last bosses. The job sucked and they made everyone miserable.

    I would also kill off the customer service people at Best Buy, one of whom was supposed to be holding a movie that I had been searching high and low for. She made me wait for 15 minutes while she checked her counter for the movie and then told me she didn’t have it. I found it on the shelf. The other looked at me with a blank, far-away look when I asked if they had The Ring in stock. Then he said, “Lord of the Rings?”

    I really shouldn’t blame them for being dumb. I should just limit my shopping to on-line.

  9. Miri

    Hi, Michelle! Lovely dark guest blog today. 🙂

    I think my preferred method of {fictional} killing would be to rip out a person’s femur, sharpen it, and then stab them with it. I used to promise such grisly demise on kids in my drama class who wouldn’t learn their lines (it worked, too), but now I think the honor belongs to the kid who kept kicking my seat at Wall-E last week. 🙂

    Or possibly serial texters. “I can talk to you and text at the same time!” -shank-

  10. Ami Greko

    Found my way here from the Sisters in Crime message board–I’m just a guest for the day, but I couldn’t resist this question!

    DEFINITELY the slower-than-molasses postal workers at the Brooklyn post office, who insist that you stand in the LONG line, even though you are clearly holding a pink slip that means you just need to pick up a package, which will take two seconds.

    I’m envisioning a slow dip into a vat of boiling oil…

  11. Lauren

    Hi Michelle! I had to check out your website and just ordered both books off of I can’t wait to read them! Thanks for the post here!!!

    I would have to off my husband’s ex-wife and I think it would have to be in the manner of a couple of the 7 deadly sins. She fits all of them. 🙂

  12. Tammy Cravit

    I’m partial to radioactive caesium poisoning, myself — get the dose right and you get a painful, prolonged death. Plenty long enough, in fact, to arrange for a series of anonymous notes to the victim – just to make sure they know the justification for their suffering, of course.

    Hey, I’m just saying…

    Cone snails are fun, too, but J.A. Konrath has already used that one.

    As far as potential victims go, the party at the other end of the 9-months-long (and counting) custody battle we’ve been fighting for the daughter we plan to adopt tops my list. On the other hand, poison might be too bloodless for her…

  13. Louise Ure

    Sheesh, we’ve got some grisly commenters today! Must be something in the summer air … or do you just bring out the be(a)st in people, Michelle?

  14. Susan

    Michelle.. Just finished “The Tunnels” last night and loved it.. Killing off a character? How about my psycho ex- boss lady.. Went into screaming, cursing spells often She told me never, ever to come into work with a fever, so I missed three days.. I did have pneumonia.. so When I was ready to go back.. Oooopps I hired a replacement while you were gone.. So We could either give her some horrible breathing disease or have the replacement be a weird serial killer that slowly poisons the boss with her tea… LOL I love it… Susan

  15. Jake Nantz

    I used to coach HS lacrosse. Note, ‘used to.’ There were a number of reasons I quit (more time to write, I was a better teacher when I wasn’t coaching, more time with my wife, etc.), but there was one parent WHO HAD NEVER PLAYED THE GAME, knew very little about it, who made my professional coaching life a misery. The AD didn’t help much, but this guy was one of a kind. Tried to organize other parents to get me fired as coach (Got 4…not 4 sets, just 4 people. One was his wife. Toolbag.). Wrote me unsigned letters telling me what we SHOULD be doing, etc. Unsigned because he was too chickensh—well, you get the idea…

    I like to say he’s my 23-59 guy. That is, If murder was made legal for a day, I wouldn’t have a laundry list of people. I’d just have him. And I’d kidnap him early the day before, get his blood type from the Red Cross and stock up, so I could keep him alive for 23 hours and 59 minutes of the 24 hour day. I’d want my money’s worth.

    I was thinking of carving pieces off of him to feed the squirrels and raccoons around my house all day, while he watched…maybe run over a foot or two with the lawnmower, until he had about 20 minutes left. Then duct tape the old college beer funnel to his mouth and pour in drano til it came out his nose. If he’s still alive when time runs out, I’d hide him in my septic tank til the authorities came to make sure I was strictly adhering to the 24 hr. timeline. By the time they found him he’d either be dead, or the rest of his life would suck so much I’d be okay with him living.

    Then again, I’ve met his wife. Just leaving him alive and in that marriage might be punishment enough.

    But of course I would never REALLY do anything like this, only in fiction…[evil chuckle]

  16. Michelle Gagnon

    Squirrels and raccoons and drano-oh my!Remind me to never get on your bad side, Jake!And thanks, Susan re:The Tunnels, I’m thrilled you liked it! And thanks to Lauren for ordering my books, everything is clearly going according to my evil plan…mwa-ha-ha…Postal workers is a good one! I’m on my way there now, am certain to return with more potential victims…

  17. Dave Arnold

    Hello Michelle, nice to meet ya’. I’ll tell you what – as a gift for your inaugural blog (rhymes, that)I’ll volunteer my own name, partially as penance for my own tormenting malfeasance towards others in high school and partially so I’ll maybe understand how an actor feels to have his/her character killed off…

    What do you say?


  18. J.D. Rhoades

    Note to self: never piss Jake off.

    A writer friend of mine who shall remain nameless (although I’m pretty sure she reads this blog) was once apprached by a friend of hers who asked “can you kill my ex-husband?” Of course, she meant fictionally, at least that’s how my friend took it.

    So her next book had the odious ex, in all his skeezy, slimy glory, coming to a well-deserved bad end.

    He read the book.

    He had NO IDEA the character was supposed to be him.

    He even told my friend how much he liked the book, especially the villain.

  19. Jake Nantz

    Ms. Gagnon, Mr. Rhoades, trust me, you’re safe. People piss me off every day. There are HUNDREDS I could name. I’m a teacher, which means I deal with lunatic parents every day, remember?

    But no. Not one of those would be in any danger at all. Just this guy. And like I said, with a wife like his, leaving him alive in his marriage (gulp) “bliss” may be torture enough.

  20. Elaine Flinn

    Late to the party – climbing the stairs to my office was a bitch today – but I finally made it and loved your post, Michelle. (No, won’t use one ! at all).

    I’ve killed off some antiques dealers I’ve known – and an auctioneer or two. I’ve got a new list (non-antiques people), but you know what? They’re not worth the ink.

    Best wishes with the new book. THE TUNNELLS was terrific – am looking forward to THE BONEYARD.

  21. Fiona

    I’m not sure who I want to (fictionally) off more: the coach who told me I was a bad parent for taking my kid to church every week instead of having him at Hockey every Sunday morning (the kid was 7 and they practiced FOUR TIMES A WEEK) or the nutso parents of my kids teammates who hired a special, extra coach and had reserved an EXTRA 5 AM ICE TIME EACH WEEK for second graders.

    So that I will never have to hear them scream at any of the kids again, I would immobilize them on their backs (in the hockey rink), cut out their tongues and have them drown in their own blood.

    BTW, my kids don’t play any team sports any more, or I might have been tempted to crib some of the other posts to use on rabid coaches & parents.

  22. Michelle Gagnon

    All right, folks, I think it’s time to call it (must get up early tomorrow to board a plane to Thrillerfest!)Thanks for all the disturbing comments, I for one won’t be sleeping tonight! I think our winner of the signed edition is…drum roll please…Jake! I mean really, squirrels, raccoons, a lawnmower, AND drano? Worse than what they did to William Wallace.Jake- if you get a chance, send your address to me at and I’ll mail the copy upon my return.Well done, everyone! Catch the rest of my blog tour for more madness, it’s posted on my site under “events.”M

  23. Fran

    Please have something horrible happen to “help desk” individuals who are not fluent in English (or whatever language they’re supposed to be working in), and who seem to deliberately misunderstand the question! Please? Multiple brown recluse spider bites would be nice.

    But you can’t kill of the guy who fired a friend of mine for being the wrong form of Christian (she’s Methodist, he’s Baptist), and then had everyone in his office come and pray over her desk to cleanse it of evil spirits. No, he’s mine to kill. On paper, anyway.

    See you at the end of the month!(!!!)

  24. JJ Cooper

    I spent the last part of my military career avoiding a superior officer with ‘little man’ syndrome. You know the type – you’ve been to the moon and he’s been to Mars. Beady little eyes and always barking out orders just to hear his own choir-boy voice.

    Anyway, turns out when I left the military and started to write he became the inspiration for a character who needed to die a miserable death. Very satisfying.


  25. Jake Nantz

    This was a contest? Cool. I must’ve missed that part. I thought we were just going over ways we’d (ahem, fictionally of course…yeah, that’s it, fictionally) off those people without whom the gene pool would be a better place to swim. Thanks Ms. Gagnon. I look forward to the signed edition! Thank you very much!

  26. Lukas Ortiz

    I would like to nominate the name: Rush. For three very good reasons. First, it is the name of one of the worse bands in rock n’ roll history. Secondly, Rush Limbaugh is the biggest douchebag on Earth. Lastly, you should never rush. It leads to clumsy mistakes, and, often, fatal accidents.

    This is a great blog entry, Michelle!


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