Friday, December 18, 2009

Guest post ~ Mary Burton

I'm very happy to have Mary Burton stopping by today. I'm a huge fan & to have her visit my lil ole blog means a lot to me :) Thank you for visiting with me today.

“Hey, you write books, don’t you?” my neighbor asked.

“Yes, I do.” My nineteenth book, DYING SCREAM, just hit stores in December. It’s the third in my series

for Zebra and follows I’M WATCHING YOU and DEAD RINGER. But my neighbors only have a vague notion of what I do. They know I bake cookies and bread; they know that my miniature dachshunds Buddy and Bella are great fun to play with (and they bark a lot) and they know I way over decorate my house for any holiday. But my writing is something that hasn’t quite hit their radar screens.

“So you are a real author?”

Not only had I started my next romantic suspense, but I had just returned from a stock signing tour and a book signing that took me over 450 miles over a very snowy weekend.

“Why, yes I am.”

Her eyes narrowed. “But are they mysteries?”

I could have gotten into a discussion of genre groups and explained that what I really write is romantic suspense but I knew right off that would have been lost on her. “Yes they are mysteries.”

“So can you talk to my reading group? We are reading mysteries now.”

“Sure.” Within a couple of days and a few exchanged emails I had agreed to talk to her group. Before I knew it, I was standing in the front of a group of women ready for my words of wisdom.

I started off with the importance of research and character development and the need for strong hooks. But when talk turned to individual stories, we quickly ended up in discussion about The Good Guy (or Gal) in their favorite books.

We talked about these character’s jobs, homes, pets, favorite desserts and greatest talents. It was clear that they all had invested a good bit of energy into the Heroes. It was all a great lively discussion.

And then I asked, “So what about The Bad Guy or Villain? You know this character is the most important character in your book,” I sad.

That comment earned me a few blank and confused stares but I was not swayed. Since I started writing romantic suspense, I’ve come to believe that the villain is the most important character in the book. The villain drives the story. He or she is the reason why the story is even happening in the first place. After all, if there were no Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz Dorothy could have sailed right back to Kansas. And would life have been all that interesting for Batman if not for The Joker or the Penguin?

In DYING SCREAM my latest romantic suspense, my villain is a very, very bad guy. We know that from the outset. But that doesn’t stop me from taking moments and digging into his insecurities and fears. These moments don’t excuse what he’s done but they do shed light on the demons that drive him. They make him a little less black and white and a lot more interesting. And interesting is the name of the game. The more engaged your reader is in any character, the more interesting your overall book is going to be. But of course in the end, like all good Villains, he gets caught and we enjoy a sense of justice.

So looking back at your stash of Keeper books, who is your favorite Villain?

Dying Scream by Mary Burton

No One Will Find You

An aspiring artist. A high-school senior. A stripper. Three women who seemed to have nothing in common except their sudden disappearance. But one man knew them all. Wealthy, privileged Craig Thornton even claimed to love them. And for that, they paid the ultimate price.

No One Will Save You

When Adrianna Barrington receives an anniversary card from her husband Craig, she assumes it's some crackpot's idea of a joke. After all, Craig is dead. But then come phone calls, flowers, messages. . .all reminding her how much Craig misses her. While Adrianna begins to doubt her sanity, grisly remains are found on the Thornton estate. Detective Gage Hudson is convinced the bodies are linked to Craig. But the biggest shocks are yet to come.

No One Will Hear You Scream

A psychopath has taken up his chilling work again, each death a prelude to the moment when she is under his control at last. And the only way for Gage and Adrianna to stop him is to uncover the truth about a family's dark past--and a twisted love that someone will kill for, again and again. . .

Dying Scream was released earlier this month. Make sure to pick up your copy of this fantastic book today!

Mary Burton

1 comment:

Lynne said...

Mary - Thank you for stopping by! It was very interesting what you said about the villian. I never thought of it that way and I will now look at them differently.