ABDUCTED and thinking about what readers might talk about after they read my next thriller. The sequel might be controversial which would be a first for me. You'll have to eagerly await the release of my next thriller before I can give you more details.
In ABDUCTED one of the main themes is how you can't or shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Most people have an image of a "bad guy" in their mind. In real life though, bad guys look "normal."
Have you ever wondered who your neighbors really are? Cathy and Jim Hanson next door might not be who you think they are. Yeah, they might look nice and innocent, mowing their lawn on a regular basis, taking out the garbage, and/or holding hands on their way to get the mail, but who are they when the doors are locked and the blinds are closed tight?
The discussion I would love book clubs across America to have (Yes, I have a big imagination) about ABDUCTED is "Who's to blame for my serial killer's behavior...if anyone?"
The killer's sister did some horrific things to her brother when he was little. Is she to blame? Or does it go back further than that? Should blame be placed on his parents for being negligent and leaving their children unattended for two weeks? Teachers and counselors at the killer's school spoke out years later, saying he was always a strange child with behavioral problems. Were the counselors to blame for not speaking up earlier? What about the parents of a young girl who were certain the killer had something to do with their daughter's death but never spoke up because of his age and the peculiar circumstances?
The killer in my book thought people were complacent. He said as much to Lizzy Gardner (my protagonist) when he held her captive. He said there were no Neighborhood Watch signs. He also said that people no longer held regular meetings to keep apprised of what was going on in their neighborhoods. No communication. "Didn't people know that the best protection against crime was an informed public? Be vigilant about what's going on in your community people. Be observant. Be alert for strangers or unfamiliar vehicles."
In some respect, Lizzy Gardner thought the killer had been dead right.
If you don't like scary books, don't read ABDUCTED. One of my biggest fans, a terrific writer and good friend, Caroline Fyffe, couldn't finish the book because she was having nightmares. I don't want anyone to blame me for their nightmares. None of my other books will scare you, I promise.
If you're a writer, have you ever thought about what people might discuss after reading your book?
If you're a reader, are you in a book club? If so, do you analyze the characters or do you just state why you liked or did not like a particular book?
The killer in ABDUCTED is referred to as "Spiderman." In October I will be asking a question about ABDUCTED and if you answer correctly you will be eligible to win a STERLING SILVER Spider Ring made by one of my very talented sisters. See picture and mark your calendars for the giveaway. Isn't the spider cute with those big eyes?