Saturday, 24 March 2012

Brian Freeman and SPILLED BLOOD: Suspense From the Inside Out

Thriller writer Brian Freeman’s latest book to be published is Spilled Blood (Quercus) on his recent visit to the UK he took time out to kindly write a blog post for SHOTS to talk about Spilled Blood and where the idea for the story came from.
You won’t find any serial killers in my book SPILLED BLOOD.  You won’t find any super-heroes either.  The book begins in a Depression-era ghost town amid dirt roads and flooded corn fields, where two teenage girls confront each other in a twisted game of Russian roulette.  They’re both lonely, both desperate.  They’re both driven by passion and loss.  By the morning, one will be dead, and the other will be in jail for murder.

It’s a story of ordinary people pushed to the limits of their emotions.  That’s my brand of psychological suspense.
I remember an incident from years ago that shaped the kinds of stories I tell.  I had lunch with a colleague and friend who confessed something remarkable:  years earlier, her daughter had been kidnapped by her ex-husband, and she hadn’t seen her child since then.  The private investigator she’d hired had recently re-discovered her daughter, and they were going to be reunited that weekend for the first time.

I’ve always remembered that story, because it taught me a lesson I’ve learned over and over since then.  All you have to do is scratch the surface with ordinary people, and you find amazing stories:  stories of hope, tragedy, suffering, grief, faith, and despair.  What I’m trying to do in my novels is create suspense out of those stories, where the drama arises out of the emotions, secrets, and sexuality of real, flawed, human characters.

That’s what SPILLED BLOOD is about.  At the heart of the novel is a feud between two rural towns arising out of a chemical works that has brought economic fortune to one town and, seemingly, death and loss for another.  The feud, spinning out of control, has deadly consequences.  Most of the characters are driven across terrible lines by the need for justice and revenge, in ways that resonate for all of us.  There are few “right” and “wrong” issues in this book; everything is blurred in shades of grey, forcing the readers to put themselves in the shoes of the characters and ask what choices they would have made in the same circumstances.
Super-heroes?  Super-villains?  No.  I hope that’s what makes the novel truly shocking, because the people who face this struggle are no different from you and me.  It’s not suspense that comes from outside; it’s suspense from the inside out, driven by the struggles inside each character’s head and heart.

More information on Brian and his books can be found on his website.  You can also follow him on Facebook.

1 comment:

Kelly Robinson said...

The storyline sounds pretty nifty.