Obsession is like a runaway train…

Category: Author Post

Catherine Hunt photoCatherine Hunt, author of Someone Out There, outlines some of the inspiration behind her debut thriller novel.

As a journalist, I’d come across a lot of real life stories about people with an obsession which had made them do appalling things, and it always seemed like a good subject for a book.

Things got a bit closer to home when someone I knew became the target of another person’s obsession. Bit by bit, the problem escalated, until it reached a violent climax.

Everyone was stunned that things could get so out of control and, afterwards, we all tended to dismiss it as a one off – ‘the actions of a nutter’ and ‘a set of really unlucky circumstances’. Maybe it made us feel more comfortable to think it was a rare occurrence.

It was around the same time that a friend told me how she was chased along a country lane in the dark by a driver she had annoyed. The car chasing her had music blaring and tinted windows so she couldn’t see who was driving it.

It was from those two incidents that Someone Out There started out.

Psychiatrists say that when it strikes, obsession is like a runaway train. It begins at ten miles an hour, speeds up to sixty, then ninety and it just can’t stop or slow down. Obsessional minds become uncontrollable as, eventually, compulsion overthrows all reason.

Many things trigger obsession and many people suffer from it: the rejected lover, the resentful employee, the infatuated loner or the jealous colleague. And sometimes lives get shattered without any provocation.

What happens to Laura, the central character in my novel, is random bad luck. She gets in the way of a deranged obsessive – and I think that could happen to anyone. Most people probably know someone a little like that, though hopefully not so extreme! Laura is forced to fight for her life through no fault of her own, because she is caught up in circumstances that are totally beyond her control.

As well as the nature of obsession, the book is about how we think we are more in control of our world than we actually are; it’s about how quickly – and unexpectedly – life can unravel, just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Out 21st May.
Pre-order now.

Read the first chapter here.

Sheena Lambert dives below the surface of THE LAKE — out today!

Category: Author Post

Happy Publication Day to Sheena Lambert! Her first Killer Reads imprint novel, The Lake, is out today in eBook format. We have the privilege of sharing an exclusive blog post from Sheena in celebration of its release. Continue reading to learn more from the author on the namesake behind this far-from-placid Irish thriller.

 


 

The Lake by Sheena Lambert coverLakes are ominous entities.  Even on a clear day when it seems like the sun has scattered diamonds on its surface and its clear water laps gently at the shore, a lake is foreboding.  Its stillness, ever threatening.

It’s usual to associate water with cleansing and renewal; what could be more refreshing than a racing, gurgling river, or more of a balm to the soul than the crashing waves of the churning tides?

But lakes are different.  Lakes are silent; they sit, still, their apparently stagnant water deep and heavy.  Lakes keep secrets.  Unlike those rivers and oceans which like playful children cannot resist the temptation to throw up their hidden treasures, flinging them on their banks and beaches for all to see, lakes hold their secrets close, interred, weighted down by deep, cold water, never willingly revealing what they hide.

Is it any wonder that lakes have been the scene of many murderous crimes?  Some of the most gruesome and shocking killings have had connections to lakes – Lake Bodom in Finland, Coniston Water in England and Lake Shelbyville in the USA are just a few of the lakes that have played a role in serious crime around the world over the past decades.

Even more mysterious are the manmade lakes that spread across the planet like a contagion in the mid 1900s in man’s pursuit of industrialisation.  These lakes, the progeny of great dams built across rivers in rural areas, served to further the development of cities through the provision of fresh water and electricity, while destroying the lives and livelihoods of thousands of country people.  All around the world there are lakes which didn’t exist 100 years ago, their waters guiltily concealing the broken lives and the broken homes of the Washed-Outs who had no choice but to leave.

It is one such lake that sits, quietly, in the townland of Crumm in the Irish midlands.  In 1975, a year of exceptionally warm and dry weather, the water level drops lower than ever before, mysteriously revealing a shallow grave in the drying silt.  Now those, like Peggy Casey and her siblings, descendants of the Wash-Outs who have lived beside the lake all of their lives without giving it much consideration, have no choice but to notice.

And just like every other, this lake has secrets it wants to keep.

 

Be sure to keep up with the latest from Sheena by following her on Twitter @shewithonee. You can also find her on Facebook and her website.

More from Sheena around the web today.
Writing.ie Magazine:  
A Killer Read: Sheena Lambert on The Lake
Catherine, Caffeinated:  5 Ways To Get a Book Deal