I’m honored to have OG Tomes, who wrote the deliciously dark and twisted Thriller, She Becomes You with us to share some insight of what it takes to be a Thriller Author. First, I would like to thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to be with us, OG.
I am delighted to give this a go. I felt honored when you asked, Linda. ‘Busy’ is definitely one way to describe an Indie author.
Thrillers are a very popular genre for readers, but few know what it takes to create the characters that everyone loves to hate. I have to say the characters Tina and Sassy in your book, She Becomes You brings the reader to the dark and terrifying place inside the mind of the psychopath. Could you please explain how you were able to bring them to life in your mind before putting them on the pages of your book?
During research for The Sanctuary Saga, I came across an empowering article by Eri Nelson which detailed her non-traditional take on the literary rules that could hamper her creativity and style. This led me to another article by a different author that recommended that a writer should pick a genre and stick with it to become successful. I was looking for something to inspire me to take the steps to kill off some of my characters in the saga. Knowing I needed to kill off a few, I asked Google in what genre do you find the most deaths? I weighed the answer then challenged myself to write outside of my comfort zone.
Researching ‘psychopath’ had me off and running. And to twist things up more, I wrote the ending first which made the path there riddled with decisions ripe for the picking. You can imagine what research was involved to create the scenes and more than once I questioned what I was doing and why. Visiting creepy, creepy places filled with the harsh reality, manipulation and mindset of psychopaths are where they came to life.
I have to admit I raced through the writing of it. If by chance I was home alone and a storm popped up during that time, I simply had to stop. It took 528 hours total writing time and all 528 hours felt as if a bow was being pulled across the strings of a violin in anger. Even before I started editing I boxed things up and stuffed them away out of sight. That bit of research made its mark and even though I am writing a sequel I won’t open that box again.
I was amazed at how you were able to pull the reader into the violent scenes in your book, and trap them there while experiencing the horrible deeds done to the victims. I know readers of thrillers often wonder where the author gets their inspiration for the gruesome parts in their books. Would you mind sharing with us how you are able to write such vivid scenes?
The research for building the characters took on a life of its own. Torture methods to serial killers and beyond, touched the characters while it wreaked havoc on my nerves. I used graph paper, lots and lots of graph paper to diagram the physical attributes of the scene as well as the actions needed to carry the scenes out. Many a time I fought sleep and pushed on to be finished with the list of their possible deeds and to avoid the vivid nightmares the research was giving me. I went through many sets of crime scene photographs to get a feel for what would be needed to depict the characters’ twisted sickness and the force of their wrath. As disturbing as it was, one thing remained very clear, anyone could be a psychopath and it is a fine line between the hidden and the exposed parts of their nature, some of which they are aware of and then those they keep hidden from even themselves. They simply do not have a warning sign on their foreheads and the average person does not know the symptoms displayed in their behavior. They are very adept at avoiding exposure most of the time.
I reached this conclusion standing in the checkout line while people watching and seeing hints of behavior in the people around me that I had listed during research and it gave me a chill. Knowing I had no choice of the people who stood by me in line made me feel trapped and I knew that trapped feeling would be what made the story work. That was the scariest part of it all, realizing the lack of choice, lack of control and lack of human emotion that I would need to portray. Any individual standing in line with you anywhere could be capable of such actions, thoughts and plans. Knowing this and feeling that initial fear instilled by it, made it stay close throughout the whole writing process. I had a bowl with tortures written down on little strips of paper that I would randomly pull one for a character to do then I would embellish it with as much reality as I could muster from the research. Measure your plot by this: If it scares you while you write it more than likely you will scare the reader.
I know from personal experience that writing Dark Thrillers can be a drain on the writer. Do you ever find yourself needing to step away for a while, and write something lighter?
Yes, of course I do. I have an array of things to keep me distracted. More than once I scared myself silly and I can’t count how many times I ‘quit’ because of Tina. Leave and lock the door behind you in denial kind of quit. Luckily I have very supportive family and friends who encouraged me not to give up. Everything about this project gave me angst, from the research to the cover and even the act of publishing. I can say with all honesty, a ‘psychological thriller’ is not for the faint of heart to create.
I know that you are constantly working on different projects. Would you like to share with us what you’re working on now?
I am working with a wonderful writer, Darcee Van Mullekom, on her debut book, Ravenous for her saga, Myth of the Raven and her subsequent jump into the swirl of self-publishing, so watch for that to be out hopefully this fall. A romantic comedy titled, Yes Dear. She Loves You to Death, the sequel to She Becomes You and Tales from the Tomes, a spooky set of short to possibly novella length stories to be published individually for a quick shot of scary, so far there are about 20 titles with covers.
See the Light, book three and book four (untitled) of The Sanctuary Saga. And of course book trailers and reveals alternated with covers when I am inspired to create them. Mentoring, editing, marketing and promoting others round it out.
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like scary, psycho=thrillers, this is for you.
January 25, 2013
This review is from: She Becomes You (Kindle Edition)
Having read The Sanctuary Saga series by O.G.Tomes , I was astounded (in a positive manner) by her ability to switch into this genre so flawlessly... the art of psycho-drama is to bring the reader along at a pace that scares, almost wanting to put the book down, but HAVING to keep reading to see where the next chapter leads...splendidly done, Ms Tomes...and like most of the best of this genre...it's all so credible ... let's be honest...weird people do live amongst us... this story slams into a small unsuspecting community, but it could equally be anywhere in the large cities too...look out behind you ....great tension, great story-telling, great book... Loved it...No spoilers needed here ... just read and enjoy ...and keep your doors locked.
5.0 out of 5 stars Horribly Enjoyable! November 17, 2012
By Miss R. Wood "Roz Wood" (Birmingham, England)
This review is from: She Becomes You (Kindle Edition)
Well it didn't take me long to finish this! Right from the very first page you are inextricably committed to this book and you consume the words with a grisly fascination.
The book was very well written and I felt the grief and sense of loss experienced by Amy, the writer you are first introduced to. I won't say much more for fear of ruining it for other readers. Evil without conscience fill the pages of this book.
I'm surprised at O. G. Tomes as she seems such a nice lady on Twitter! Having read this book, I would think twice about inviting her round for a cup of tea in case the evil spirit within is unleashed on me!
This is definitely a great read but shiveringly frightening at the same time. I look
forward to the next book with trepidation!
PaulWADE PulpKult's review Nov 07, 12 Goodreads
4 of 5 stars
Read in September, 2012
Its grip is tight, it will not let go.
It draws you in from the first page.
This story departs from O.G Tomes earlier works and takes you into different places, some of those places are a person's greatest fears.
This is the 21st century. It’s really hard to shock and/or thrill anyone these days.. Is that not true? S. King is a 20th century writer and when a reader knows that a person should be saying one thing, but they come out with another, more politically correct word....... it leaves you wanting.
It does me anyhow.
Here's the thing, it’s not the fact that a knife cut is made, or something like a body part, is cut off; it’s the "circumstances," along with the inability to DO anything about your dilemma, you can’t move, you cannot run--- all you can do is scream. Everything else, is what makes the foul act complete.
SHE seems to have an effect on people. YOU THINK?
Hey Linda, let’s end this with a trailer for the sequel?!
SHE LOVES YOU TO DEATH
OG, I want to thank you for stopping by and giving us a glimpse into the mind of a GREAT Thriller Author, and how you give the readers spine-tingling stories that keep them turning the pages.