Tyler Anne's Take
I write about death--grizzly, gritty death. Murder with all the dirty details in tow. My characters go through the ringer and, sometimes, never come back.
I write depressing, deranged, and dark things on a daily basis.
Does that make me depressed, deranged, and murderous?
This post is an intervention to all of those people who read books that aren't all puppies and butterflies and think OH MY GOD, THESE PEOPLE ARE DEMENTED. They aren't. We aren't.
You need to separate the writer from the book and realize they may write murder but they don't actually commit it. (Or at least some of them don't.) Now, I've said it before and I still stand by it--every story you write is an extension of you in some manner. However, when I'm torturing a character in a dark, damp basement I personally don't want to go out, grab a person, drag them to the basement, and water-log them.
The novel I've been working on gets pretty dicey early on. I was afraid I rushed some things so I let my mom have a few chapters to read at her connivence. A week later I got a call from her. She was unusually quiet. Finally, after a few "are you sure you're okay?" she got to what was bothering her.
"Are you okay? I mean, are you happy?"
I had no clue where she'd jumped on that line of thought...until she told me she had read those chapters. She said that the torture scene was a little too real and the main character's seems a little unbalanced.
I'll tell you what I told her: Mom, I promise I'm not crazy. I just write crazy.
Sure, there may be some dark little jewel inside of me that is morbidly curious about the world but isn't there something like that in all of us? If I judged all of the books' plots I've read against the author, then hot damn there would be a lot of writers out there that are beyond reproach.
So next time you read a book with content that at times makes you squirm, don't jump to conclusions about the author. Instead, turn your focus to how you feel about all the murder and crass.
Holli Anne's Take
My mom is kind of a crime show/novel junky, so when she reads my dark, gritty tales, she always wants more.
My husband, is a different story. His reactions are similar to Tyler's mom: Um, why is this so dark? You aren't going to kill me, are you?
No, honey, I'm not.
But, will my characters get raped and murdered (or murder and rape others)? Yes, without a doubt.
Tyler pretty much covered this topic well: Writers who write dark things aren't all crazy. We're just not.
First things first, don't we all have a little darkness in us all? When I write dark twisted things, I don't do it with the intent of committing crimes or even the desire to. I take the deepest darkest part of myself, magnify it by 100 and write a damn good story about humanity.
Second of all, if people didn't enjoy these types of tales, there probably wouldn't be so many crime shows and novels out there.
So sit back, relax and just enjoy yourself a good piece of twisted fiction!
For more Writer Talk go here.