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Pan Macmillan

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Alex van Tonder Shares the Images and Ideas that Inspired Her Online Frankenstein in This One Time

This One TimeThis One Time is a novel about a man who creates a fake persona that becomes a monster, spawning monstrous consequences.

Author Alex van Tonder has shared some of the images and thoughts that inspired and informed her novel and its central character, Jacob Lynch.

Stephen King, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and a real-life psychopath socialite who lived in the 1800s feature in her archive. So do a number of reality TV sensations and social media fiends. Van Tonder writes: “Victor Frankenstein had to physically make a monster to make a monster, but Jacob just makes up a fake persona on the internet.”

Read the blog post:

While researching and gathering inspiration for the This One Time I collected images, ideas, scenes and quotes that evoked feelings or emotions I felt resonated with the characters, their motivations, the plot and the setting. Jacob – chained to a bed and faced with himself, with no phone or internet to distract him from himself – has to face some hard truths. Firstly, he’s been living a double life, and he’s made some mistakes. He’s got caught up in this revenge-porn and blogging and half-truths and half-naked photos and full frontal photos and sex tapes and smile-for-the-camera-with-a-product-in-your-hand and another day another party another girl in another bathroom pass the cocaine, do it all over again tomorrow, Instagram or it didn’t happen, don’t Add me on Facebook, I’ll add you, break all the rules and give no fucks lifestyle.

Except he does give a fuck. A lot of fucks. Everything he does he does for the approval of an audience – his blog following, his blog sponsors, his advertising agency, his agent, his publishers. He needs their approval, their support because that is his power. So he courts their likes, their budgets, their shares, their Tweets, their regrams. He serves them what they want: what will get clicks, likes, shares. It’s a sordid buffet. Revenge porn. Frat jokes. Party pictures. How To Be A Professional Dick manuals. Dan Bilzerian-esque selfies with bitches and beer, tits & guns. Sordid Tucker Max-style tales of sex, drugs and bastardry. The likes come in as his integrity seeps out. He sells his soul for money and fame, and in the process becomes an anti-hero, living the good life in a positively Crowlian Do-What-Thou-Wilt kind of way, a poster boy for the idea that ‘Evil pays better’.

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