Anyone that knows me, knows I have an obsession with the darker side of the human mind. The part that allows humans to commit heinous acts against one another. I am a total True Crime junkie, a complete and utter addict. I seek out the best, most well-researched podcasts (True Crime Junkie, RedHanded & Morbid), read books, and devoured YouTube video after YouTube video, documentary (I’m looking at you Bailey Sarian & Stephanie Harlowe). I’m just about to start reading I’ll Be Gone in the Dark and I have a list as long as my arm of true crime books I’m dying to read.
So I have started to formulate my crime novel, create my investigators and my victim, her parents, and her life. Next is my killer. This feels like the biggest task of the bunch. Creating someone who can hide in plain sight and move in the darkness to commit acts that are unspeakable without a soul
realisingthat they are responsible.
They are the type who people will say “Oh… but they were so nice, you’d never have known. They were always so friendly and once lent me a cup of sugar when I needed it”. The ones who shock and surprise the nation because they
realisethat monsters don’t look any different to anyone else.
Creating a backstory, detailing their earlier crimes, and what, perhaps, drove them to commit the crimes they do? To give them whole personhood, a life, a job, a significant other.
It’s been fun, I have to admit, dipping my toe into that side of things. Planning out the ruthlessness of their murderous mind and how it befalls our dreadfully unlucky victim
This must be the best part of writing a crime novel, at least, I think it is. Getting to play with the darker side of what makes us human really makes me think about just what each individual must be capable of.
I’ve had this idea bouncing around in my noggin for a long time now – years in fact. Over that time I’ve let it grow a bit, change a bit and see what it needs to be and now it finally feels time to start working on it. I’ve always wanted to write a novel so this is really exciting for me.
I’m sort of aware how huge of a undertaking that is – I’ve written feature length screenplays before so that helps. But, I’ll admit, it’s been such a long time that I feel like I’m dusting off the old cobwebs so to speak.
The idea is a crime novel with just a twist of fantasy. Some of my favourite books are The Peter Grant Decective Series by Ben Aaronovich (Rivers of London etc) which are just fabulous and employ a brilliant mix of crime, magic and fantasy that I love.
I also have been reading the Crow Investigation’s series about Lydia Crow, a PI with an interesting family history and even more fascinating back story into London itself (I have been really enjoying these and they are available to read for free if you have kindle unlimited)
I would say that my idea kind of sits closer to a crime fiction/psychological thriller book end of the genre than the fantasy, but the fantasy is still definitely highly important to the novel.
I am in that planning stage that can feel like it takes forever before you get to sit down and write, but I feel like right now this is the exciting part because I’m getting to shape my characters and my story, figuring out what works and what doesn’t work.
Not to mention the research I’m doing! I am loving researching, reading true crime books, books on human behaviour and things. It’s set to be quite the book…. if only I can pull it off!