*** BAD RONALD : WHY ? ***

Question asked by Matt Hughes 3/9 2:41 pm

The book is well done, but the character and situation are repellent. What interests me is that BR is so different from the other Vance books. Where did it come from? Why was it written? The main thing I'd like to know is how JV feels about that book and character.

And an additional question by Matt Hughes 15/9 :
After reading JV's roundtable interview in Cosmo 42, I'd more than ever like to know what he thinks of Bad Ronald, both as a book and as a character.

Jacks Answer:

Bad Ronald came into being by an indirect process. I read in a newspaper, or somewhere, an account of a mother having her child sequestered, in a house, for some reason, for a long time. And the thought was horribly fascinating, a fascinating idea.. And it just occurred to me that this would make a good theme for a horror story... I just thought Id try my hand at it, see how it turned out So I did, and I just tried to write it without too many dramatics, detail, gory detail, just straight- in other words I wasnt trying to shock too many people, I just explained what I considered a fascinating, if horrible situation. And the story, I thought, turned out pretty well, even though it was very disgusting.
I think the book is a success. The character, Im dispassionate about, Im dispassionate in regard to all my characters. I just use them as a means to an end. I dont have any feelings of hatred, or passion toward Bad Ronald; of course I do feel sorrow at the plight of the girls, but thats why its called a horror story