I learned at an early age that I liked to be scared, regularly reading about vampires despite lying in bed at night fearing their attack in the night. I was probably five years old when I snuck into the living room to watch movies as my parents slept. That was truly a feat because my mother has the hearing of some kind of scientifically-engineered super bat so it was rare to circumvent her rules and no scary movies for kids was number one.
I never made it to the devil stuff in Amityville Horror that night because the ax murder scene totally did me in. For months after, I imagined a bearded, flannel-wearing, ax-toting man hiding in my closet so it definitely wasn’t my best idea. I’ve always been fascinated by monsters and the unexplained.
True crime was always a draw as was the paranormal and cryptozoology. Whether it’s visiting haunted locations, obsessively re-reading stuff like The Mothman’s Photographer series or the Missing 411 books, or binge-watching forensic shows before Netflix was even a thought, I’ve always enjoyed scaring myself but nothing stuck like true crime. I’m grateful to live in the digital age because otherwise, I’d probably have spent most of my life in a library and be even more socially awkward than I am already (which is a lot, but no worries, I’m totally okay with it).
The internet has been critical in feeding my addiction and I can’t imagine life without reddit, kindle unlimited, Investigation Discovery or True Crime Garage. I’ve finally learned to channel that lifelong fascination with all things creepy into something useful, my writing, and it’s the biggest rush. All of the books in the Cady Blackwell Mystery series are based on actual crimes and real-life monsters, with the exception of Go For Broke.
There’s a lot going on introducing Cady, establishing her world and the romance aspect of the story, so it didn’t seem fair to bring real cases in yet. Most likely, I couldn’t give that aspect of the book the proper attention and care to really do it justice so the real cases were shelved for the other books. The crimes and villain in Go For Broke are loosely-based on years of crimes and killers that floats around in my brain but nothing specific.
After spending years honing the skills of scaring myself, I’m excited to share those fears and hypotheticals with the world. I can only hope that my characters will affect readers the way all of my favorites have scared and inspired me. I’d love to know what scares you. Share the scenarios that give you chills and what makes you afraid of the dark.