Todd Travis 

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Fear

Posted by dani5869 on October 14, 2013 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Process of Writing The Living And The Dead

Posted by dani5869 on June 15, 2013 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

(Copied post from Todd Travis's FB page with his permission)

My thoughts behind the process of writing my book THE LIVING AND THE DEAD ...

 

Like a LOT of people, one of the major influences on me is a humble guy by the name of Stephen King ... the guy is quite simply a genius but at the same time, also a regular guy (which is the genius twist to his work, he manages to write universally profound stories while somehow not morphing into an obnoxious Norman Mailer celebrity author) ... one of the most influential modern writers, if not THE most.

 

The first modern adult book I ever read was King's THE STAND, which I read when I was nine years old. Yeah, nine. I know, I'm effed up, but there you go. I motored through the rest of his work to that point, and he scared, thrilled and yet made me think... he's a genius, as I said.

 

I try to read his non-fiction book ON WRITING once a year, it's actually the book that made me believe I could actually write novels, too. I'd also recommend his non-fiction work DANSE MACBRE, an examination on horror stories, fantastic piece of writing on the craft of writing horror.

 

But of all his work, it had to be his collection of short stories that really, really thrilled me, in particular SKELETON CREW which has what I consider to be the best short novel ever written at the end of it (THE MIST) ...

 

I've read that book countless times, and while I'm not King (no one is but he) I've always wanted to try and write something, structurally, that did the same thing. King comes at an idea from a uniquely human angle, and for him I think the monster inside our hearts is often more dangerous than the monster lurching through a graveyard. I love that about him.

 

I have a thing about monsters, especially real life monsters (as is the guys in REDEMPTION CENTER and the men in NIGHT IS FOR HUNTING) or the monsters that live inside our own souls, and so that was the starting point, the theme of THE LIVING AND THE DEAD ...

 

The monsters around us and inside our hearts and pit them against the traditional monsters (Bigfoot in IN SEASON, Elijah in A BOY'S TOTEM, Norberg vs Caleb in THE LIVING AND THE DEAD, etc)... that was what was most compelling to me, the thought was that the monsters we grew up fearing in the fireside stories might not nearly be as terrible as the monsters who look and act like real people, who appear sometimes as a kindly store manager, a family member, a school bully or a guy buying a cute girl a drink ... but are actually much more terrible.

 

Those were the seeds that sparked this book, doing a homage to a writer who thrilled me as a boy and to pit monsters against each other, and I thank all for taking the time to read it...

Thoughts behind writing Creatures of Appetite

Posted by dani5869 on June 6, 2013 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

(Copied from Todd Travis's FB page with his permission)


A buddy of mine thought I should talk for a bit about why I wrote CREATURES OF APPETITE and my thoughts on the process, etc... I'm always a bit grumpy about stuff like that, getting online and being one of those guys, but mostly it's probably that I fear change ... even though change is inevitable, I fear it nonetheless, it comes with age, so they say ... heheheheheh.... but maybe it's just that I enjoy being grumpy, it could be that, too...

 

But my buddy's dragging me out of the dinosaur age and into the digital world where, I must admit, it is enjoyable to hear from people who liked the book and read their thoughts on it...

 

So some thoughts on CREATURES OF APPETITE...

 

I had the original idea a long, long time ago... like a lotta folks, I was a huge fan of Thomas Harris and early James Patterson (his early books were much better than what came later) and mysteries in general, especially about profilers... RED DRAGON, Harris's first serial killer book, was a huge influence on me... this was well before we had serial killers on TV every day of the week and showed close up zooms on them digging into a corpse, all that CSI crap.

 

Not that there's anything wrong with that, if that's what you're into, but anyone who's researched into profilers (and there are some great books out there by the guys that invented profiling) would know that how they work, primarily, is by GETTING INTO THEIR HEADS...

 

The whole WHAT plus WHY equals WHO equation ... what does this UNSUB do, why do they do it? Too often I feel books and shows these days have gotten away from that ...

 

And what's fascinating, in many cases, a lot of these real life profilers look at a crime scene and identify immediately who did it before they even look at forensic evidence... it's like magic, almost, except that it's not... they're simply using their imagination to get into the perp's head.

 

I liked that a lot, but then it got me to thinking, what kind of person would do that work, and why?

 

That led me to creating the fictional Jacob Thorne, what does he do, and why does he do it, and those of you who've read the book know where it goes from there ...

 

I wanted to do an old school serial killer thriller, from the get-go, and Thorne was my way into it.

 

He just gripped my imagination and wouldn't let go... I had to write the book to get him out of my head, in other words. I needed to give him a problem to solve.

 

Which brought us to the killings, I wanted to explore for me what the scariest and most horrible thing that one person might do to someone else, something that gave me nightmares ... (and I'm not easy to scare, I don't think, but the thought of getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, I always have that thought, right before I open the bedroom door, what if there's someone in a mask standing on the other side? Yeah, I'm a freak like that)...

 

And that's where the Iceman came in ... and tracking his murders back and the reasons people do terrible things, and it's just simply, in some cases, a matter of appetite ... like bullying in grade school, once one gets a taste for it, it often continues on through adulthood and never stops (don't believe me, hang out with a few lawyers sometime, or a couple of cops)...

 

People sometimes find what they are and like to do and embrace it, and while I don't know if I agree with Thorne one hundred percent on that (he thinks we just are what we are) it was a fascinating dialogue to have...

 

In many ways I probably identified with Emma Kane more than Thorne, who seems to spring up out of me on his own... and much of the conversations those two had in the book felt like the conversations he and I would have, which was another surprising thing, that a grumpy guy like me would end up identifying more with the hot rookie than the middle-aged veteran, but that's kinda how it happened...

 

I felt I learned from Thorne just as Kane did, and, in a way, was just as surprised and shocked by him as many readers were... especially at the end.

 

I do plan to do more Thorne / Kane books, but I also want to take time with them, too... Thorne isn't someone you can rush along, actually, heheheheheh ... He just doesn't put up with it. But he will be back, he just won't leave the imagination...

 

So those are some of my thoughts on Creatures Of Appetite, if you dig those, please like this post and also, share the Amazon link to the book on Facebook... thanks!

 


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