Me beloved one alerted me to this article by Richard Cohen about the author as a hyena:
"Most writers acknowledge the destructive, even self-destructive element in their chosen profession. “As a younger man,” admitted Peter Carey, “if anything was worth stealing I would steal it.” Whether it is in fiction or nonfiction, most writers take that “right” for granted. “The novelist destroys the house of his life and uses its stones to build the house of his novel,” Milan Kundera wrote in Art of the Novel, not as apology but as a description of the way things are."
Read the article here.
Unfortunately the novelist not only destroys the house of his life but often destroys the inhabitants as well.
I don't say this lightly. Novelists like generals and politicians should try to avoid collateral damage, especially if they are in an intimate relationship with the collateral damage.