Today we are hosting one of the stops on Andrea Kane’s blog tour for her newest book, THE STRANGER YOU KNOW, the third book in her Forensic Instincts series as well as giving away a copy to one lucky reader!
Visit the other blog stops on this TLC Book Tour
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Readers ask me all the time, “How can you write such sick and twisted villains?” The answer is, I don’t know.
My antagonists usually terrify me. And, being the softhearted person that I am, it’s counter intuitive that I should love creating and writing them. Yet I do—almost as much as I love writing my protagonists.
Let’s start with my most basic reason: I love the science and mystery of the human mind, and, as a result, I love writing psychological thrillers. I can’t think of anything more fascinating than getting inside a character’s head and seeing what makes them tick—what motivates them, how their minds were formed and developed over the years. Biological traits, environmental influences— both of those are a wonder in fiction and in reality.
One of the wisest things I was ever taught by a superb writing teacher was the fact that every villain is a hero in his/her own mind. Starting with that premise, I can immediately view the actions of the antagonist in a completely different way, sometimes sympathetic, sometimes empathetic, sometimes horrified but with a newfound understanding of WHY.
That explains how I create and develop my villains. Now comes the writing of a serial killer, which is central to THE STRANGER YOU KNOW, as well as the ultimate in horrific antagonists. Quite frankly, I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would or could do this. Understand who I am: I cry over Disney movies. I’ve never gotten over Charlotte’s death in Charlotte’s Web. I can’t watch ulta-gory TV shows or see blood-curdling movies. Most ironic of all, I can’t read graphically violent books. So what made me go in a direction like this?
Glen Fisher did. He’s the psychopathic serial killer in THE STRANGER YOU KNOW. He’s been on my mental radar since his brief appearance in THE GIRL WHO DISAPPEARED TWICE. He’s plagued my mind since then, and, much as I willed him to go away, he only grew larger and more complex in my writer’s mind. He needed his book, his own venue to exact the ultimate revenge against Forensic Instinct’s President, Casey Woods.
And so, Fisher got his way and his book.
Some of my villains I feel a twinge of empathy for, based on the factors that turned them into who and what they are. Fisher is NOT one of them. No matter how deep into his mind and his motivations I got, I felt nothing but revulsion. I wrote scenes from his point of view in some kind of surreal state—scenes that kept me up at night when I re-played them in my head or re-read them on my computer screen.
In short, I’d have to say that living inside Glen Fisher’s mind was both a horrifying experience and an ultimate boundary-pushing of my creativity. I was totally spent when I finished writing THE STRANGER YOU KNOW, but I felt an exhilarating sense of accomplishment, too. Like Casey, I’d battled pure evil and survived.
It begins with a chilling phone call to Casey Woods. And ends with another girl dead.
College-age girls with long red hair. Brutally murdered, they’re posed like victims in a film noir. Each crime scene is eerily similar to the twisted fantasy of a serial offender now serving thirty years to life-a criminal brought to justice with the help of Forensic Instincts.
Call. Kill. Repeat. But the similarities are more than one psychopath’s desire to outdo another. As more red-headed victims are added to the body count, it becomes clear that each one has been chosen because of a unique connection to Casey-a connection that grows closer and closer to her.
Now the Forensic Instincts team must race to uncover the identity of a serial killer before his ever-tightening circle of death closes in on Casey as the ultimate target. As the stalker methodically moves in on his prey, his actions make one thing clear: he knows everything about Casey. And Casey realizes that this psychopathic won’t stop until he makes sure she’s dead.