Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Dark Side of Writing Dark

Today my guest is Mary Eason who writes contemporary romance and dark romantic suspense. Please welcome her to Terry's Place while I continue to deal with packing and moving and getting ready for SleuthFest.

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to look into the mind of a killer?

What would you do if a killer were hunting you? What if you’re child was the target? What if the killer was someone you knew?

Ask any author who writes dark romantic suspense and they’ll tell you, it ain’t no walk in the park at times.

I think even for writers who create fictitious killers it’s still disturbing to consider that there are really such depraved people living in the world amongst us. To make a believable killer you have to do your homework.

For me, I love to watch Forensic Files and 48 Hours Mystery on TV. You can gain a great deal of knowledge simply by studying old case files. So why do people kill? Well, most psychologists will tell you there are two fundamental reasons someone will take another life. Love and money.

Both truly are the root of all evil. But there is another type of killer that is far more evil and cunning than all others. He’s extremely intelligent, he can blend into society well enough to be the neighbor next door, and he lacks anything resembling a conscience. He’s a sociopath known as the serial killer. He kills for the thrill of it.

The FBI estimates that today there are some 50 active serial killers working among us in the US alone. That’s a frightening statistic to consider.

For me, writing about the dark side of romance is both rewarding and challenging. The characters leave their mark on you and make it hard to move on to the next story. And if they’re really chilling, they make it hard to sleep with the lights off at night.

All the best.

For more about Mary, visit her website at www.maryeason.com or her blog, www.maryeason.blogspot.com. Her latest release, Shadow Games, is available through Champagne Books.


Mason Canyon said...

The dark side of human nature would have to weigh you down some because as a writer you have to know so much about them. I would think that would be one of the most challenging parts of it. Very enlightening post. Thanks.

Mary Eason said...

Thanks, Mason. And thanks to Terry for letting me drop by today.

I truly love writing romantic suspense as well as reading it. I think looking into our dark half at times helps us realize evil exists in human form and we need to strive to do better.

Hope everyone has a great day. I'll drop in later.

Mary Eason

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

*Those* are the people to be scared of--no feelings of remorse or right or wrong. Very scary. And I think after writing a dark story and getting into the head of a killer that it would be hard to get back out of it!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Terry said...

Yes, people who kill just for the thrill of it are the hardest to comprehend.

Nice post They must be tough to get out of you rhead.

Mary Eason said...

I agree with you Elizabeth, how do you reason with someone who feeling nothing. Freaky.


Carol Kilgore said...

I've written on the dark side in short stories, but never for novel length. That dark mindset likes to take hold and grow roots. Thanks for a great post.

Mary Eason said...

Carol, I've written several romantic suspense novels that feature dark characters, such as serial killers, but I also write contemporary romances. I wonder how those authors such as Stephen King, who create such truly dark, evil characters rest confortably at night.


Journaling Woman said...

Mary, Whoa, 50? I am pretty sure I couldn't write about a serial killer and do it right. I'm scared of my shadow and would probably would write myself into a tizzy of scaredom.

Terry, Hope your moving is going well.


Jemi Fraser said...

Good post. I enjoy some dark romantic suspense, but not too dark, or I can't sleep :)

The mind of a killer is fascinating - even as we realize the evil and the moral decay. That's why the books/movies about them are so popular I guess.

Terry Odell said...

Thanks to Mary for being my guest today. Needless to say, it's been busy around here.

Mary Eason said...

Thanks everyone for making me feel welcome. Hope you all have a great week.