Why Yawatta Hosby Loves Writing Thrillers

WHY I LOVE WRITING THRILLERS
Guest Post by Yawatta Hosby

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Image: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Here’s a secret: I love horror movies. I’m talking Saw, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, Wrong Turn, basically anything that’s gory and disturbing. I also love suspense movies that have betrayal and mind games, like Mindhunters, Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and Straw Dogs. I’m not going to lie—I have to watch during the daytime. Even so, I end up getting nightmares for two weeks straight.

Being interested in those types of movies naturally led me to wanting to write those types of books. At first, I was too terrified of reading horror or thriller books until a few years ago. In movies, you’re warned that something morbid is popping up by the creepy music in the background. In books, not so much.

That’s what I admire about the thriller genre. There are no warnings when a scene or image will make readers jump out of their seats. It’s fun creating scenarios that will give readers goosebumps. In thrillers, you’re allowed to make characters unlikeable. For me, the villains are very fascinating to write. It’s a good feeling when readers send you messages of how much they despised a person in your story and was looking forward to their karma. Or to receive messages that they fell in love with a person in your story and wept about the outcome. That means readers felt passion for your book, and you can never go wrong with that.

I write books in different genres, without using a pen name, but I’m confident that I’ll always find my way back to creating thrillers. In fact, I have a couple of books I’m hoping to publish by the end of this year:

  • Plenty of Fish is a short story. A stranger approaches a local celebrity. It’s definitely not a love story. Is he crazy? Lonely? Dangerous?
  • My novella is about an obsessive man willing to do anything to get the family he deserves.

I’m hoping these two stories will be published next year:

  • The sequel to One By One, revolving around Detective Brown’s daughter. (Some people have hinted that they’d like to see the story continue, so I’m up for the challenge). :)
  • A story about a crazed ballerina who terrorizes her younger sister because she feels that her sister is responsible for their brother’s death.

For all the writers out there, why do you create thrillers? For all the readers out there, why do you love scaring yourself?

Keep smiling,
Yawatta Hosby

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With a desire to escape every day life, YAWATTA HOSBY creates stories. She’s always had a fascination with psychology, so she likes to focus on the inner-struggles within her characters. Her short story “Room For Two” is published in the online literary magazine The Write Place At the Write Time (Spring/Summer 2013 edition).

Yawatta Hosby Online: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads | Interview

Interview: Yawatta Hosby

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I am pleased to present an interview with Yawatta Hosby, who writes because it’s all about the mind games…

Describe yourself in 5 words:

YH: Quirky, INTJ, Laidback, Creative, Mysterious.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your latest book:

EXCERPT: “Where do you think they are?” Logan asked.

Kenan sat on top of a rotted tree stump. He rubbed his forehead. “I have no idea. If I did, we’d already be there.”

Logan sighed. He had no choice but to follow Kenan’s lead because he knew the area more than Logan did.

He wanted to ask Kenan a more personal question, like did he think something awful happened to them? Kenan was quiet during their search and had calmly taken over this morning that Logan couldn’t tell if his friend was freaking out.

If a tragedy happened ten years ago, it could occur again.

BLURB: Alone in the woods, the weekend turns into a deadly game when a killer hunts Rae and her friends. They struggle to stay alive and discover the truth. Is someone stalking them, or is there a killer among the group?

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

YH: I’m sharing Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. My novel was inspired by this book:

What was the name? The signature was rather difficult to read. Emily Brent thought patiently: “So many people write their signatures quite illegibly.”

She let her mind run back over the people at Belhaven. She had been there two summers running.

What do you enjoy about the genre in which you write?:

YH: It’s all about the mind games for me. Who’s mentally stronger to win in the end? The fear is entertaining as well. I love creating situations that have readers afraid. That have them jump out of their seat or force them to sleep with the light on.

I love creating the bad guys and the good guys. And the twists and turns will always be my favorite part of a book. I want readers to think they know the outcome, only to be surprised by the ending. My biggest fear—being boring.

What is your definition of “good writing”?

YH: Good writing focuses on description in a scene. Readers should be able to vividly see, hear, taste, and feel everything as though they’re taking the journey with your characters, not just reading about them.

Good writing consists of understanding the genre you write for and applying the formula. Don’t mislead readers and tell them it’s a horror story when it’s really a paranormal love story. Don’t tell them it’s a contemporary drama when it keeps them laughing instead of crying.

Please share your #1 tip for writers in the mystery/suspense/thriller genre:

YH: Stephen King says it best: “Don’t write in fear.” Don’t be afraid to make your story go there. Don’t be afraid of controversy or edgy topics. I think readers will respect you for it. Write the story that speaks to you, not the one you’re unmotivated to write but think it’ll be a bestseller. If you’re not really feeling the story, the readers will be able to tell.

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With a desire to escape every day life, YAWATTA HOSBY creates stories. She’s always had a fascination with psychology, so she likes to focus on the inner-struggles within her characters. Her short story “Room For Two” is published in the online literary magazine The Write Place At the Write Time (Spring/Summer 2013 edition).

Yawatta Hosby Online: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads | Guest Post

Writing a Psychological Thriller

WRITING A PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER
Guest Post by Maria Savva

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Image from EWZine

Whenever I write a book or story, I always try to see things from the point of view of my characters. I like to think about every action in the book from the character’s perspective, and imagine how he or she would be feeling, what they would be thinking.

My latest novel, Haunted, is a psychological thriller. The novel is a character study and it’s a very dark book. Nigel, the main character in the novel, is living with the consequences of something he did in a moment of rage. Throughout the novel we see the deterioration of his mind. There are elements of horror, paranormal, and drama, as Nigel tries to come to terms with what happened and he is haunted by the mysterious woman from his past.

Getting into the mind of a murderer is quite an intense thing. When I was writing Haunted I had to almost become Nigel, so that I would know how he felt. I had to imagine what he would be thinking, how he would be behaving, and considering the dark nature of the novel, this was quite an emotionally draining thing to do.

HauntedI have been told that Haunted is the kind of book that stays with the reader long after they have read it. I see that as a great accomplishment because when I decided to write the novel, I had a particular aim and that was to make people think about how one moment of anger could change a person’s life for ever.

I was inspired to write the novel after hearing a news snippet on TV about a random murder. In London, it’s not unusual to hear news about murder, but for some reason that particular story stayed in my mind. It was a young boy, teenager, who had stabbed a nurse. It was disturbing because the boy didn’t know the nurse, so I started to think about what the boy would feel like if he found out about her background, if he knew what she was like, if he met her family, would he regret what he had done? The key element in my novel and one which I wanted to portray at the forefront of Nigel’s character was regret.

In my novel I have also added possible reasons as to why Nigel ended up committing the crime. It is clear that he is not a bad person. He was quite ‘normal’ before the incident that changed his life. In his upbringing there were possible signs that he might end up rebelling. He grew up to be quite an angry young man, but at the time he committed the crime he was quite settled in his life.

I wanted to portray a man who was ‘normal’ but who commits an unforgivable crime. I wanted to explore in the novel how that affected his family and the victim’s family.

The psychology of crime is a very interesting area. One thing that I hope to get across in Haunted is that often the criminal is also a victim, and that what happened to Nigel could happen to anyone.

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MARIA SAVVA was born in London on 19th March 1970. She studied Law at Middlesex University and The College of Law. She writes novels and short stories in different genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga (although she has not written a courtroom drama to date).

Maria Savva Online: Website | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Playmates, Book Review

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Reviewed by D. Donovan, Senior eBook Reviewer, MBR

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PLAYMATES (Wilde Twins, Book #1)
by Jess C Scott

Playmates is the first book in the ‘Wilde Twins’ trilogy — a psychological thriller about abused siblings who turn into a serial killing team.

The story opens with a bang: the bang of children seeking to escape, and the bang of family violence that dominates their lives: “My birthday wish was simple: run away with my twin sister….(sic) There was a loud yell from the living room then — Dad’s voice — and the familiar violent jolt of the sound of glass shattering. Someone had once again broken a bottle on the wall just outside our room.”

Because their parents inflict psychological and physical pain upon each other and their children, Tania and her twin Trevor learn that violence and pain are normal everyday events inside a house where, to the outer world, their parents are respectable citizens: “I would see him nicely dressed in the morning for work, looking every bit the studious professor he was. Black rectangular glasses, trimmed beard, ironed shirt, nice shoes…He was all smiles at his workplace, with a pleasant face and greeted all around by smiley faces. He was happy during the drive back home too…”

Because they live in fear of the alcohol and violence which dominates their lives, the twins have never had a normal, happy childhood. Their mother only wanted one child (a son) and takes out her frustrations on daughter Tania; and this is where Tania learns that humans are selfish by nature. Most people, she perceives, don’t care about children. Add her mother’s prostitution when their father is away and you have a frightening home filled with secrets, violence, and extraordinary measures required for survival.

But Playmates isn’t just about survival: it’s about how these early lessons take root in a child and themselves beget warped human nature. Tania discovers the only person she can really count on is her twin … and so begins a relationship born of a survival instinct and reaction to danger (“That was when I first realized Trevor was always there for me when I needed him. He was the only person I could trust with anything. He was my best friend. He was my everything”) which evolves into something more sinister.

Unlike The Bad Seed and other classic novels of psychopathic behaviors, Playmates delves into the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the evolutionary process. The children absorb their parents’ violence and insecurities like sponges, then find themselves attracted to the power and compulsion of violence in their own lives — first with small things (such as ants); later with victims more their size.

Games revolving around violence, television documentaries of killers and psychopaths, and an emotionally charged home environment filled with abuse on different levels (emotionally, physical, and sexual) all conspire to cultivate the seeds of homicide, rage, and (ultimately) empowerment.

Playmates provides alternating viewpoints between twins who share experiences and build their own conjoined perceptions of murder, violence, and power. From warped views of justice to ideas of safety and violence, the story line delves into the winding mental processes of each twin and provides riveting perceptions: “I needed to do that first one — murder — so I’d be able to compare that with Rick and Dad doing “what they did” to me. That way I could compare sex and murder directly. I might learn something. I loved the idea. It helped create a sense of justice in my view on this silly little thing called life.”

Events progress to a crescendo — and offer no predictable conclusion. This means readers should be prepared for the second installment of a slowly-building psychological thriller of the emergence of evil and sociopathic responses to an impossible life.

Review Posted: October 2013

ISBN: 978-1492818328

MORE INFO: jessINK.com/playmates.htm

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