I recently had an email from Thelma Bittinger, who had read my novel Skinner. She asked if I ever became attached to a character so much that when that character must die to make the story complete, I felt a sadness. The truth of the matter is, that I had tears in my eyes when I had to kill the character Peter Pipe in Skinner.
Another story about the Skinner novel, I was district manager of the Vale District of the Bureau Of Land Management at the time I wrote it. The chairman of my advisory boarad was named Skinner, and so that is how the name came to me. I wasn't sure how he would take my use of his name. But he just laughed and bought one.