Yesterday, I introduced you to the steamy romance of Amelia James and her book, Tell Me You Want Me. Today for the Evolved Publishing Blog Hop & Giveaway, we delve into the heart of evil with Lane Diamond’s riveting psychological thriller, Forgive Me, Alex. Lane is not only an exceptional author, but he’s also my editor. Yes, folks, this is the man who makes me look good! So let’s see what lurks in his mind as he creates serial killers, shall we? Don’t forget to enter to win a signed copy of his book, and click on the link to check out the 20+ giveaways happening this week all over the internet for Evolved Publishing.
“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?”
That classic line from the 1930’s serialized radio program, The Shadow, functions as something of a theme for much of my writing. This is particularly true of my novel, Forgive Me, Alex. It also guides a fair portion of what I read.
For me, great literature has always been about great characters, and if I’m going to dig really deep into a character, the author needs to take me… well, really deep inside that character. I want to know what’s in that character’s mind, his heart, his soul. I want to know what scares him, what makes him nervous, what excites him, what motivates him.
Now, to be clear, this requires a level of authenticity that will bring the character to life in a realistic way. However, it needn’t be all puppy dogs and daisies. Let’s face it: there are some real sickos out there. But what makes them sick?
If you heard that a neighborhood kid was stealing people’s pets and first torturing them, then dismembering them, how would you react? Would you say he’s sick? Would you wonder how anyone could even think to do such a thing? Would you fear letting your dog out? Would you call that kid… evil? Yes, I used the E-word. So many today seem to want to hide from the possibility that true evil exists, to explain it away as something else, to make it not a cause, but a mere symptom. Why?
People fascinate me. Specifically, the inner workings of the human brain fascinate me. After all, as human beings, our brains are what separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom. That brain is complex, mystifying, and still largely misunderstood. Indeed, in the medical sciences, the brain is truly the final frontier. For all the extraordinary things they’ve learned about how the brain works in recent years, they’ve still barely scratched the surface.
Human emotions and psychology are particularly difficult to understand. How many times have you scratched your head at another person’s actions, wondering what in the world they must have been thinking, or feeling? Now, imagine a person who has no feelings. Would he be easier to understand? Perhaps. Would he also scare the bejesus out of you? Probably. As well he should.
Let’s return to that kid above who likes to torture and kill the beloved Fido and Mittens. The mere thought of such acts might bring you to tears, turn your stomach, and make you want to grab a baseball bat and pay that kid a visit. For that kid, however, ripping Mittens limb from limb is merely a… curiosity. As a psychopath, he doesn’t process emotions the way you and I do. (Please tell me you’re not curious what it would be like to tear Fido limb from limb.)
Why doesn’t he feel in the same way we do? The cause could be physical, environmental, or… nothing at all. Dare I say it? Some people are just evil.
It’s hard to understand, and it draws us in, perhaps out of our own sick curiosity, natural though it may be. Why is the TV show Criminal Minds, which brings us a weekly parade of some of the worst sickos in our midst, so popular? Setting aside the obvious—great cast, solid acting, exceptional writing—might it be because we’re all, at some level, fascinated by how a human being can do what we ourselves couldn’t even imagine doing, at least not without puking our guts out and collapsing into a weeping mess?
And might that sicko—that twisted, despicable, unrepentant psychopath—make a great character? Oh yeah, baby! Come on… tell the truth: you love reading about that kid who’s sharpening his knife right now, even as he’s eyeing Fido in the neighbor’s yard. At least, you love hating reading about that kid. Or is it hate loving?
Well… let me introduce you to Mitchell Norton, the devil. http://bit.ly/EPbhFMA
Don’t forget to stop by the Evolved Publishing pre-holiday blog hop. We’ve got 20 autographed books up for grabs! From thrilling young adult adventures to suspense nail-biters, thought-provoking literary novels, bright and cheery books for children, an uplifting memoir, and hot-and-steamy romance, we’ve got something for everyone on your holiday-shopping list.
About Lane Diamond: I write fiction, long and short. My writings cross over many genres and focus on diverse subjects, ranging from the mysteries of the human mind, with its fragile psychological and emotional states, to the everyday joy and anguish of life on Earth.
I’ve been an avid reader my entire life, and started writing at the age of 12. I love a good story, of course, a compelling plot and satisfying conclusion. Yet as a reader, I’ve always been drawn to great characters. The characters bring me back to an author time and time again. This shows in my writing, where I attempt to create authentic, complex, real characters you can come to love, and in whose company you feel at home. Or maybe you’ll despise a character and want to stick a fork in his eye. Hey, bad guys are fun too!
I did my tour in the real world, serving in the U.S. Air Force, then working as everything from a forklift operator to a bartender in my youth, before settling in as Business Services and Project Manager for a large manufacturing and distribution concern. Now, at long last (Man! Why did I wait so long?), I’m putting pedal to the metal in pursuit of the author’s life.
After many years as a Freelance Editor, with several clients published or aspiring to be so, I co-founded Evolved Publishing, where I wear hats as Publisher, Executive Editor, and Author. As an author, I started with a few short stories, and released my debut novel, a psychological thriller called “Forgive Me, Alex,” in December 2011. The sequel, “The Devil’s Bane,” is under way and due Spring 2013.
You can find out more about me at my website: www.LaneDiamond.com.
About Forgive Me, Alex: Tony Hooper stands in shadow across the street, one amongst many in the crowd of curiosity-hounds gathered to watch a monster’s release. Seventeen years after Mitchell Norton, the devil, terrorized Algonquin, Illinois on a spree of kidnapping, torture and murder, the authorities release the butcher from psychiatric prison.
Tony longs to charge across the street to destroy Norton–no remorse–as if stepping on a cockroach. Only sheer force of will prevents his doing so.
The devil walks the world again. What shall Tony do about it? Aye, what indeed.
After all, this is what Tony does. It’s who he is. The devil himself long ago made Tony into this hunter of monsters. What a sweet twist of fate this is, that he may still, finally, administer justice.
Will FBI Special Agent Linda Monroe stop him? She owes him her life, so how can she possibly put an end to his?
Tony Hooper and Mitchell Norton battle for supremacy, with law enforcement always a step away, in this story of justice and vengeance, evil and redemption, fear and courage, love and loss.