As promised this week’s featured author Beverly Barton, has written a blog exclusively for Killer Reads…
I find it intriguing to delve into the minds of my characters, villains in particular. I try to create villains (male or female) who are multi-dimensional, not just pure evil. I prefer flawed heroes and heroines, people who struggle with failures as we all do and discover that true happiness comes from loving and being loved.
Several years ago, less than a hundred miles from where I live in Alabama, a woman shot her husband while he slept, took their young children and ran in the middle of the night. Her husband was a minister, a highly-respected member of the community. That case fascinated me because I wanted to know why she had killed him. During her trial, she revealed an ugly secret – her husband had been abusing her for years and she feared he would abuse their children. She is a murderer and yet a jury found her not guilty. Was her motivation for killing justified? Real-life stories such as this remind me of how complex the crime of murder is and how it affects not only the killer and the victim, but their friends, families and community.
My latest release, THE FIFTH VICTIM, is the first book in my Cherokee Pointe trilogy. The hero, Dallas Sloan, is an FBI agent who is tracking a serial killer. My heroine, Genny Madoc, has inherited the gift of “second sight” from her Cherokee Indian (Native American) grandmother and her “gift” puts her in grave danger. The second and third novels in the trilogy are: THE LAST TO DIE and AS GOOD AS DEAD DIE both published next year. All three books are set in the Smoky Mountains, in the fictitious town of Cherokee Pointe.
And as if that wasn’t enough, I will also be publishing SILENT KILLER (trailer on the way!), this September which tells the tale of old lovers reunited. Each returns to their hometown to rebuild their lives, he after being wounded in Iraq and she after suffering an emotional breakdown when her husband was brutally murdered. The villain of this novel kills in a horribly gruesome way – by dousing the victims in gasoline and setting them on fire.
At present, I am working on a new novel, DEAD BY MIDNIGHT, that brings secondary characters from SILENT KILLER into lead roles. As soon as the manuscript is completed and on my editor’s desk, I have a treat waiting for me at the top of my to-be-read stack – James Patterson’s latest Women’s Murder Club novel, THE 8TH CONFESSION. I’m a huge Patterson fan and am hooked on this series.