HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Kangaroo? You'll see in a minute.
But I was looking through all the books we talked about yesterday--and it's so fascinating to see what a range there is! From Liz Mugavero's fun cozy KNEADING TO DIE to the Susan Elia McNeal's smarthistorical adventure HIS MAJESTY'S HOPE to Debs police procedural THE SOUND OF BROKEN GLASS to the oh-so-contemprary struggles in Jon McGoran's DRIFT to the downright creepy insidious nightmare-inducing NOS4ATU by Joe Hill.
Which is what I'm reading right now. And I almost..don't want to. It's so creepy--not gory-creepy, but shiver up the back creepy, that reading it at night is not quite..comfortable.
Which is the whole point. It's scary good.
So you know how much we love to introduce you to new authors--Colby Marshall has a thriller THE TRADE coming out any second now--and her debut CHAIN OF COMMAND now on sale! And she says: Be very afraid. That's the whole point.
I have a confession to make: I am not fearless.
When you write about and read about all things terrifying, it’s easy to pretend you have it so together that nothing scares you, but the truth is, one of the reasons I write about the creepy, frightening side of the human race is because it does scare me. So do kangaroos. I was kicked by a beast of one of those once, but I think that’s another story for another time.
While researching for books, I consult with a forensic psychiatrist on different motivations a killer in a specific novel might have. Usually, when I explain my scenario to him, he references his own real-life cases to explain to me why the diagnosis of a particular mental disorder or personality disorder may fit the character in question. Stories I write tend to start with the seed of a true crime article or book I’ve read somewhere along the line. The tiny spark lit by the article will then ignite in my mind, where I twist it into something that could actually happen and maybe even does.
Trust me, this makes for some unsettling moments. At least when a kangaroo kicks you, you know the face of the evil you’re facing. When your imagination is wild, you can work yourself up pretty well. I tend to lock my bedroom door behind me at night, even when all of the doors of my home are locked, too. I’m not paranoid…much…but I’m aware of the how my characters are often oblivious, too, right before something bad happens to them.
So if what I write or read is truly scary, then why read and write about fear and things that could really happen? Happily-ever-after and bubbly, fluffy fairy tales would be so much more fun, right?
I think people do need happily-ever-after, and I think they need fluff, too. But that said, I think fear is needed, too. Fear is a reminder that for every time there's something of which we’re afraid, there’s a brave soul inside willing to combat the apprehension. Sure, we love the adventure and thrills we’re greeted with per minute in these types of books, but we also love the characters we root for.
We find ourselves pulling for the good guys to win, because we see the parts of us in them that won’t give up.In characters who fight for the good in any story, we recognize a little bit of ourselves: the parts of us we have to believe could survive, could stand for justice, and could rage against the evil in our society if we were faced with the scenarios our favorite characters are.
In other words, through fear, we find hope.
Do you write or read scary books? Why or why not? Is there anything so scary you’ll shy away from reading or watching? A signed copy of my new book, THE TRADE, which comes out June 11--to one lucky commenter!
HANK: All together now: TELL US ABOUT THE KANGAROO!
Writer by day, ballroom dancer and choreographer by night, Colby has a tendency to turn every hobby she has into a job, thus ensuring that she is a perpetual workaholic. In addition to her 9,502 regular jobs, she is also a contributing columnist for M Food and Culture magazine and is a proud member of International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.
She is actively involved in local theatres as a choreographer as well as sometimes indulges her prima donna side by taking the stage as an actress. She lives in Georgia with her family, two mutts, and an array of cats that, if she were a bit older, would qualify her immediately for crazy cat lady status.
Watch the official book trailer for Chain of Command here: http://tinyurl.com/auye6bb.
The Trade (due out June 11, 2013): Stolen lives…
Reporter McKenzie McClendon is on the trail of her next hot story, tracking a sadistic serial killer known as The Cradle Robber. This brutal murderer preys on pregnant women, slicing their infants from their wombs, leaving the helpless women to die while he disappears with their babies.
The Trade is currently available for pre-order on stairwaypress.com with free shipping, and until it’s release date on June 11, you can pre-order The Trade together with a copy of Chain of Command and get BOTH for only $19.99 (over $31 separately)! Will be available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and other major e-readers June 11, 2013.
Watch the official book trailer for The Trade here: http://tinyurl.com/lqjcb8v You can learn more about Colby and her books at www.colbymarshall.com